The government is going to upgrade Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) into a super specialized hospital where the poor will get treatment for various complicated diseases at low cost.
The ECNEC yesterday approved a TK 1,366-crore project for the purpose with 77 percent financing by the Korea Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) at a very low interest rate.
Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal after the meeting told reporters that such a specialized hospital was going to be set up in Bangladesh for the first time.
He said the specialized services would not be free for the poor, but the cost would be much lower. Normally, costs of treatment in public hospitals are very low — one percent of the costs in other countries, he added.
Citing an example, the planning minister said, “Saying hello to a doctor in Singapore costs $110.”
The project is likely to be completed by December 2019. A 13-storey new building will be constructed and modern equipments will be purchased under the project.
Seven modern units/departments — emergency medical care centre, gastroenterology and hepatobiliary centre, child and mother health care centre, cardio and cerebro-vascular centre, kidney diseases centre, intensive care unit (ICU) and central diagnostic and pathology department — will be set up as per the planning ministry proposal.
Once the super specialized hospital is established, treatment of different complicated diseases will be available in Bangladesh.
The EDCF will provide Tk 1,047 crore in loan for the project with an interest rate of 0.01 percent payable in 40 years, including a 15-year grace period, which means the loan would have to be paid in 55 years.
Prof Dr Sharfuddin Ahmed, pro-vice-chancellor (admin), BSMMU, told Dainikshiksha that 1,000 more beds would be added to the existing 1,300 beds when the hospital is upgraded.
He said the hospital provides services to around 6,000 patients at the outdoors. More patients could be given the services when the new facility was annexed, he added.
The ECNEC (Executive Committee of the National Economic Council) yesterday approved another health sector project involving Tk 635 crore, with which a medical college will be set up in Tangail and the existing 250-bed hospital will be upgraded to a 500-bed one.
The ECNEC also Okayed another project titled Protecting Building in Urban Areas, which will help weak buildings withstand earthquakes. The Tk 571-crore project will be financed by Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica).
A main component of the project is identifying the risky buildings in the private sectors including the RMG sector and providing loans to them through the Bangladesh Bank for renovating or shifting those to other venues.
The planning minister said the amount for providing loans is not included in the project fund. He added the risky buildings would be identified first and a separate project would be taken to give loan for those buildings.
According to the project proposal, the loans will be given for risky buildings in Dhaka and Chittagong.
Another major component of the project is constructing the main building of the Fire Service and Civil Defence headquarters at Mirpur, modernising nine fire stations and forming a separate unit for quick response to disasters.
The ECNEC also passed six other projects involving Tk 2,284 crore in total.