The reception accorded by the district administration to the 80 doctors newly appointed in Munshiganj is certainly encouraging. They called the programme, ‘Down the path of light’. It is indeed true that the doctors who serve in the remote areas despite so many problems and limitations, are really illuminating the way.
The Munshiganj district administration must be thanked for according this reception to the young doctors. However, when the young doctors described their experiences at work, a pitiful picture of our medical system emerged.
A doctor of the Gajaria upazila said that the health complex there has electricity for only one hour a day. This is not just the plight of Gajaria alone. The government may spew out all sorts of rhetoric about development in the power sector, but the fact remains that most of the upazila health complexes face inordinate hours of load-shedding during the day. Is it possible to run a health clinic without electricity?
The paucity of power means a lack of water and security too. The government must provide the upazila health complexes with electricity on a priority basis.
Another doctor said his complex had no ultra-sonogram machine. That is a serious matter. How can the doctors be expected to carry out their duties without the basic medical equipment?
The complaint that no doctors stay in their village posts is serious. Many doctors stay away from their rural postings on various pretexts. Such a mentality is reprehensible. But it is not enough to criticise the doctors. When the doctors are appointed to the rural areas, they must also be provided with the necessary equipment. Their work environment must be improved and they must have satisfactory residential facilities.
It is hoped that the government listens to the doctors of the upazila health complexes and take tangible measures to resolve the problems.