Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said her government would further modernise and develop the district and upazila level hospitals alongside the Dhaka Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) if they get another chance to serve the nation.
“If we get another chance to serve the nation in future, InshaAllah, we will further develop the Dhaka Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) and each district and upazila hospital to reach healthcare services to people’s doorsteps,” she said.
She said this while virtually inaugurating “65 community eye centres” at 65 Upazila Health Complexes in 28 districts, in the fourth phase, under Health and Family Welfare Ministry, from her official Ganabhaban residence here.
The eye centres were launched as part of the current government’s move to set up it at every upazila across the country.
The prime minister said they will upgrade the DMCH to 4000 to 5000-bed hospital with ultramodern facilities.
“We could have done it during our government’s current period, if the Covid-19 did not hit Bangladesh like the entire world,” she said.
Her government had been able to save the people’s lives from the pandemic despite thousands of people died of Covid-19 across the globe including many rich countries, she said.
“We had to spend a plenty of money to save people’s lives from the pandemic,” she added.
The prime minister said they have upgraded each of the 32-bed upazila hospitals to 50-bed and 100-bed district hospital to 250-bed while big district hospitals were upgraded to 500-bed.
She said they have appointed 40000 nurses and 22000 physicians alongside started building houses for their accommodation.
“We are making arrangements to make sure that the healthcare service isn’t neglected,” she said.
The prime minister said they have built community hospitals across the country to reach primary healthcare services to every people’s 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, adding that the facilities are helping greatly reduce the child and mother mortality rate in Bangladesh.
After assuming power, she said the then BNP-Jamaat government halted the community based healthcare services as they thought the people working there and taking healthcare services from those will cast vote for the Awami League.
But, the reality is that the clinics are rendering healthcare services to all irrespective of political affiliations, she said.
“The BNP-Jamaat alliance doesn’t think about the welfare of the people rather they make their own fortunes—their mindset is narrow,” she said.
At the same programme, Sheikh Hasina also opened 80 developed schemes including re-digging of 430 small rivers, canals and water bodies and laying foundation stones of 20 new development projects under the Water Resources Ministry.
Sharsha Upazila of Jashore, Sathia Upazila of Pabna and Shreemongol Upazila of Moulovibazar district were virtually connected to the programme.
The prime minister also unveiled the cover of a book titled “Joyjatra” featuring the development schemes implemented in the last 15 years.
Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque and State Minister for Water Resources Ministry Zaheed Farooque also spoke on the occasion.
Two separate video documentaries on the activities of the Health and Family Welfare and Water Resources Ministries were screened at the function.
The prime minister expressed satisfaction over inaugural of 65 community eye centres, saying the centres will facilitate people to take eye care services at the grassroots.
She said in the first phase, she opened 20 community eye centres previously known as vision centres in eight district on August 21 in 2018, 70 community centres in 20 districts, on March 11 in 2021 in second phase and later 45 others in 13 district’s on January 18 in 2023.
A total of 20 lakh people are so far getting eye treatment from the centres while 3 lakh people have got power eye glasses free of cost under the National Eye Care, she said.
She went on saying the rate of blindness in the country was 1.53 percent which reduced to one percent due to the measures taken by her government.
The premier said her government has been giving injection to pregnant women if required to prevent blindness of the newborn babies alongside providing allowances to the pregnant mothers as they can intake proper food.
She said they have built National Institute of Ophthalmology, Dhaka to give people world standard eye care services.
She also said they have set up Bangamata Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib Eye Hospital and Training Institute in Gopalganj from where eye care services are given alongside medical education.
Sheikh Hasina said her government is working to reach medicare services to people’s doorsteps since assuming office in 1996.
The Father of the Nation had taken measures to build 10-bed hospitals in every union to reach healthcare services to the grassroots level, she said.
“But, Bangabandhu had failed to accomplish the task as he had been assassinated along with most of his family members on August 15 in 1975,” she said.
The premier said they first built medical university in Bangladesh despite opposition of the pro-BNP physicians.
She continued that they have so far built four medical universities in Dhaka, Chattogram, Sylhet and Rajshahi and will build medical university in every division.
She stressed the need for conducting researches on medical sciences.
The military dictators, who grabbed state power illegally, did nothing for the wellbeing of the people during their tenure, she added.
But, the Awami League transformed Bangladesh into a developing nation during the last 15 years in line with their “Vision 2021” and is now pursuing to make a developed, prosperous and Smart Bangladesh by 2041, she said.