Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Health Care Bangladeshi Style

Heart Bypass Patient Slapped, Cursed and Killed by Nurse in National Heart Foundation Hospital.

Yes it happened last week!

As health care debate rages in USA- it is probably time to reflect back in our own yard- the horrific state of health services in Bangladesh. Every family now has horror stories. Many doctors and rouge institutions are operating with open license to kill. There exists no patients bill of rights.

Can doctors, and medical professionals take note how much the profession has sunk?  Below are some reports which should defy all sensibility:
This Princeton University and World Bank study performed by random visits found that doctors are suffering from absenteeism pandemic. It states:

Nationwide the average number of vacancies over all types of providers in rural health centers is 26 percent. Regionally, vacancy rates (unfilled posts) are generally higher in the poorer parts of the country. Absentee rates at over 40 percent are particularly high for doctors. When separated into level of facility, the absentee rate for doctors at the larger clinics is 40 percent, but at the smaller subcenters with a single doctor, the rate is 74 percent.
If you are poor- of course you have no care. If you are rich then also the industry will be glad to take your money- but still you wont have the care. The only way to get service is to know closely someone in the hospital.

In Bangladesh too many doctors are collecting kickbacks from test laboratories by referring tests. Some test labs and hospitals are paying kickback's up to 33-40% [Ref]. Some have devised indirect schemes to launder the payment. This is completely unethical and even declared criminal in many countries.. Even Bangladesh Medical Association (BMA)'s ethics statement says:
"The following practices are deemed unethical:
(3) Receiving any money in connection with services rendered to a patient other than a proper professional fee, even with the knowledge of the patient."
BMA and Government should investigate the doctors and clinics enaged in such practice and take back all the income and profit generated from such practice by prosecution, black mark on practice license and above all hefty fine. It is time, the country must look into its own health care reform and perhaps take a fresh look at the state.

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