Dhaka, Bangladesh
Docs must stay in rural stations

Editorial

Docs must stay in rural stations

Health care inequality is conspicuously present in our country, particularly in rural areas. Basic health care services are the fundamental rights of the people, but these are mostly overlooked by the people who are in the hot seat of rural health care. The reluctance of doctors to stay at upazilas has irked Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who said how rural people would get basic health care services if the culture of absence of doctors at upazila hospitals continues? The PM said the government took various steps to upgrade upazila hospitals. There should be at least ten doctors, but in some places only one doctor is there. We appreciate the Prime Minister’s concern for the health care of the rural poor. A scholar says: God didn’t like mothers to be everywhere, so, He created doctors to minister mother’s love to their patients. It goes to prove that the profession of a doctor is a highly noble one. The Hippocratic Oath has become a matter of a bygone era for the modern-day doctors. Of course, there are some doctors, who act rationally and morally, but they can be counted by fingers. The Greeks realized 2500 years ago that there should be an ethical code binding the doctor to patients. For centuries the sacred trust between doctors and patients bestowed the medical profession with nobility that has endured. In recent times, however, the sanctity of the profession is being sullied by a pernicious combination of factors. One prominent factor is that there are doctors who do not want to leave the capital and the divisional cities, because they can rake in a lot of money by private practice in the cities. A doctor thus earns, besides salary, a hefty amount of money a day. To these doctors humanity takes a back seat. The health of common man in rural areas is not at all in the pink. The upazila public hospitals meant for their treatment do not run efficiently nor do they offer state-of-the-art clinical facilities. Besides, there are doctors who remain out of station on different pretexts and dodge their responsibility much to the woes of patients. This shirking of duty runs contrary to their service rules and violates departmental discipline. It is the responsibility of the government, particularly the health ministry and the health department to take stringent action against the absentee doctors. Doctors also must do away with the quick-rich motive and go to upazilas to spend a part of their tenure in the services of the rural poor.

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