The Government of Bangladesh is allowing government doctors to see private patients in the hospital after working hours. This ‘institutional practice’ will start from March 1, Health Minister Zahid Malek has already said.
Explaining the reason behind this decision, he said, the aim is to keep doctors in their jobs, to create opportunities for young doctors to practice.
However, health experts have doubts about whether this purpose will be completely successful or not.
They say junior doctors and some patients may get some benefit if government hospitals are given ‘chambers’ to see patients, but senior doctors are less likely to participate.
Again, the question of how legal the practice of private services using government infrastructure will be.
Government salaried doctors are allowed to see patients personally outside of their working hours. They set up private chambers in various places besides private hospitals and see patients in return for a fee.
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) was the first hospital to allow doctors to see individual patients. After this autonomous institution, private bardems also followed the same path.
Now the Ministry of Health wants to introduce the same system in government hospitals. That is, after seeing the patient in the morning in the hospital, the doctors will see the patient in the afternoon for a fee.