Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday (October 16, 2023) pledged that the state-run Dhaka Medical College Hospital will be upgraded with ultra-modern facilities if her party wins the next general election to form the government.
“Inshallah if we get chance in the next time, we will upgrade Dhaka Medical College Hospital and all district and upazila hospitals,” she said while inaugurating various projects under the ministries of water resources and health.
She joined the programme from her official residence, Ganabhaban, through video link.
The parliamentary elections in Bangladesh are due in the first week of next January.
Hasina said that the aim of her government is to establish one medical university in each division.
“We need doctors, nurses and skilled manpower; we have allocated separate funds for the research on medical science,” she said.
In this connection, she mentioned that the government has created specialised hospitals and institutes to create skilled manpower in the country.
“We have a plan to upgrade Dhaka Medical College Hospital to 4000-5000-bed ultra modern hospital,” she said.
She also said that the government could have done this during the current tenure.
“…but COVID-19 and expenditure for vaccine procurement and other related huge expenditures could not allow us to do that,” she said.
She also briefly described various expenditures of the government for bringing vaccines for immunisation programme to combat COVID-19.
"We had been able to save the lives of the people from the pandemic despite the fact that thousands of people died from it across the globe including many in rich ones. But, we had to spend plenty of money to this end."
The prime minister said they have upgraded each of the 32-bed upazila hospitals to 50-bed ones and 100-bed district hospital to 250-bed ones while big district hospitals were upgraded to 500-bed hospitals.
She said they have appointed 40000 nurses and 22000 physicians alongside launching construction of houses for their accommodation.
"We are making arrangements to make sure that the healthcare services don’t suffer any negligence," she said.
The prime minister said they have built community hospitals across the country to reach primary healthcare services to every doorstep following the footsteps of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
The community centres are distributing 30 types of medicines free of cost. She said the facilities are helping greatly to reduce the child and mother mortality rate in Bangladesh.
After assuming power, she said the BNP-Jamaat government had stopped the community based healthcare services on the plea that the people who are working and taking healthcare services from those will cast vote for the Awami League despite the fact that the clinics have been rendering healthcare services to all irrespective their political affiliation.
"The BNP-Jamaat alliance doesn't think about the welfare of the people rather busy making their own fortunes. Their mindset is narrow," she said.
Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque and State Minister for Water Resources Ministry Zaheed Farooque also spoke at the programme.
Two separate video documentaries on the activities of the Health and Family Welfare Ministry and Water Resources Ministry were screened on the occasion.
Sheikh Hasina virtually inaugurated "65 community eye centres" at 65 Upazila Health Complexes in 28 districts, in the fourth phase, as part of the move to set up the facility at every upazila across the country under Health and Family Welfare Ministry.
From the same programme, she also opened 80 developed schemes and re-digging of 430 small rivers, canals and water bodies and laid the foundation stone of 20 new development projects under the Water Resources Ministry.
Sharsha Upazila of Jashore, Sathià Upazila of Pabna and Shreemongol Upazila of Moulovibazar district were connected virtually to the programme.
The prime minister unveiled the cover of a book titled "Joyjatra" featuring the development schemes implemented in the last 15 years.
Later, she talked to different beneficiaries through videoconferencing.