The government has taken an initiative to amend the existing Drug Act, incorporating provisions for stern punishment, and to make it time-befitting in a bid to prevent irregularities in the medical sector.
“Approval of the amended Drug Act is under process,” Health Minister Zahid Maleque said in a scripted answer to a query of Awami League MP Samil Uddin Ahmed Shimul.
State minister for public administration Farhad Hossain, while answering a question from BNP MP Rumeen Farhana, said it is a matter of great concern that patients are taking antibiotics without prescription from registered physicians.
“The government will instruct businessmen and pharmacies to not sell antibiotics without proper prescription from registered physicians,” he said.
The state minister said patients often die due to antibiotic resistance, which happens as they take antibiotics frequently without advice from registered doctors.
During the question-answer session, a number of MPs from the opposition bench expressed their resentment due to acute shortage of doctors in their respective upazila hospitals and community clinics, which they said is causing suffering of people.
Jatiya Party MP Mujibul Haque Chunnu and Gonoforum MP Sultan Mohammad Munsur, among others, raised the issue.
“There is an operation theatre in my upazila hospital. But no surgery was carried out in the last 10 years due to shortage of doctors,” Mujibul Haque Chunnu said.
“Every time I visit the hospital, authorities give the excuse that their respective doctors remained absent as they were in deputation and attachment,” the JP MP said.
In reply, the state minister said the government has issued an instruction that newly appointed doctors must stay at upazila level for at least two years.
In reply to a query from Awami League MP M Abdul Latif, the health minister said the government has plans to establish orthopaedic hospitals at all divisions in phases.
Once established, these will reduce pressure on National Institute of Traumatology and Orthopedic Rehabilitation in the capital, he added.