She said this while speaking at the 43rd annual conference of the Ophthalmological Society of Bangladesh in the capital’s Krishibid Institution, Bangladesh.
Mentioning the challenge in establishing medical colleges in all districts, Hasina said getting faculty members will be a major problem as “…many physicians are not interested to go outside Dhaka city, but we’re trying our best to address the problem.”
She also mentioned that the government has already established medical colleges in different districts and divisional headquarters, in addition to setting up five medical colleges in five divisions of the Bangladesh Army.
For ensuring better healthcare services, she said, “We’ve increased the bed numbers…taken steps for ensuring round-the-clock healthcare services for people.” She also reiterated a plan for setting up a medical university in Sylhet.
The government has already taken steps to set up two medical universities in Chittagong and Rajshahi. Separate laws have been enacted in this regard. Also steps have been taken to create more specialist physicians and expert nurses to meet the huge demand, she added.
The prime minister directed the physicians and ophthalmologists to work sincerely so that people can see an enlightened future and said the government will give posting of eye specialists in every upazila hospital to ensure better treatment to rural patients.
She also directed the authorities concerned to look into the issue of tax and duty on the import of medical equipments required for eye specialists and reduce it to encourage students to study ophthalmology.
Pointing to the importance of nursing, Hasina said it is also a great and noble profession and asked the authorities to make nursing courses open for all students, irrespective of their backgrounds. “Necessary directives have already been given to the secretary concerned,” she added.
Laying emphasis on creating more awareness on taking care of expectant mothers, the premier said all will have to be careful so that they do not give birth to blind babies.
Earlier, she awarded Alim Memorial Gold Medal to eminent eye specialist Dr Deen Mohammad Nurul Haque for his outstanding role in spreading treatment of eye-related problems across the country.
Presided over by Prof Sharfuddin Ahmed, president of Ophthalmological Society of Bangladesh, the programme was addressed among others by Mohammed Nasim, minister for health and family welfare, Zahid Maleque, state minister for health and family welfare, Dr Syed Modasser Ali, former adviser to the prime minister, and Deen Mohammad Nurul Haque, director general of the department of health.