Opposition MPs criticise Zahid Maleque for corruption, mismanagement in health sector
Opposition MPs today criticised Health Minister Zahid Maleque in parliament over the sorry state, widespread corruption and mismanagement of the health sector.
Participating in the debate on three separate bills, the lawmakers also slammed the minister over doctors' involvement in partisan politics and skyrocketing costs at private hospitals.
The question of why doctors would take part in partisan politics also came up in the discussion of lawmakers. They also complained that different private hospitals in the city used to confine patients if they fail to pay medical bills.
In response, the health minister said, "We will have to go to the doctor and the hospital. That is why it will be difficult for us to get services if we condemn them more".
Regarding the participation of doctors in politics, the minister said, "Everyone has the right to participate in politics as a citizen of the country".
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was present in parliament at the time.
Participating in the discussion, JP MP Kazi Firoz Rashid said, BNP had created DAB (Doctors Association of Bangladesh) while Awami League has created Swadhinata Chikitsak Parishad (Swachip).
"What will we do if doctors get involved in partisan politics in this country?" he questioned.
Another JP MP Mujibul Haque Chunnu came down heavily on the health minister due to poor health services in different government hospitals in upazila and district levels.
He also criticised the private practice of government doctors, saying it was a long-standing problem.
The JP MP demanded that the minister form a committee and fix a rate for the treatment in private hospitals.
BNP MP Harunur Rashid said lambasted the health minister saying he has failed to stop corruption and mismanagement in the health sector.
The BNP MP said, 50 years have passed since the independence of Bangladesh, but we have not been able to differentiate between government hospitals and private hospitals. "Those who are working in government hospitals are doing business in private hospitals. This cannot be acceptable".
BNP MP Rumeen Farhana said people were helpless as they could not get treatment at government hospitals during Covid-19 and went to the private hospital for treatment. She said many people have fallen in a debt trap while going through Corona treatment at private hospitals.
In reply, the health minister said, "About high fees in treating private hospitals, the ministry will hold a meeting to determine different medical fees there. Hopefully it will be resolved".