Call to adopt policy to ensure people's health rights
Speakers at a seminar yesterday stressed the need to formulate a policy from health rights perspective where specific goals, directions, strategies and commitment of the government would be vivid for ensuring people's health rights.
Highlighting the current health service situation, they also put forward specific recommendations to improve the country's health system as the constitution accredits it as rights.
Titled 'National health policy and right to health', the seminar was organised by FK (Freds Korpset) Network, Bangladesh in coordination with Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK) at Brac Centre Inn in the city.
The speakers said public health service should not be privatised or commercialised anyway and the principal approach would be - 'Establishing people's rights, not profit'.
In the rights-based approach of the National Health Policy, the state is supposed to ensure equal opportunity of all irrespective of economic, social and geographical locations.
The health policy should incorporate health issues that are mentioned in the UN Human Rights documents, Alma Ata declaration, Cedaw document, Women Development Policy, MDG and PRSP and the government's commitment in this regard.
Prof Rashid E Mahbub, former president of Bangladesh Medical Association (BMA), said the policy should incorporate the health-related chapters of different ministries as 19 ministries are currently working on health issues partially.
The speakers further said that financing in health sector should have to be written clearly in the health policy.
At the same time, people's active participation in health-related activities should have to be ensured and the management of health sector would have to make vibrant, effective and up-to-date, they added.
Sarder Arif Uddin, team leader, Right to Quality Health of ActionAid Bangladesh presented a keynote paper.
With ASK Executive Director Advocate Sultana Kamal in the chair, the seminar was addressed by Assistant General Secretary of Young Women Christian Association (YWCA) Helen Monisha Sarker, Nitai Kanti Das of PSTC and Dr Pradeep Sengupta of Impact Foundation.