It is time that a strong emphasis was laid on achieving some key targets of universal health coverage within the next 10 years.
Long- and short-term targets have to be fixed and work needs to be done accordingly to achieve the goal, and if it is done, only then the country's health sector would rise to the standard of a developed country.
The motto of the health sector should be that everyone in the country gets free treatment for cancer, heart disease, diabetes and hypertension in the foreseeable future.
The country's health sector is now being misled which needs to be realigned by focusing on health education as well as health management.
The current decline in medical education will have a negative impact after half a century. There are more than a hundred public and private medical colleges in the country, but most of them do not have basic science teachers.
Students are passing out of medical institutions without learning basic subjects such as anatomy and physiology well. Medical colleges are running out of the few qualified teachers that they have. Therefore, recruiting teachers for basic subjects are necessary to improve the quality of medical students.
When it comes to treating patients, it should be remembered that treatment is not just a professional skill but a combination of many qualities.
Doctors must have good communication skills to diagnose diseases, and thereby prevent them, but today's physicians do not give their patient enough time. Medical profession should be people-oriented, not trade-oriented.
Mismanagement in the health sector has come to the fore during the corona period. Specialised training on health management has to be given to upazila health officers, civil surgeons, director general and secretary to the health department.
If the country wants to make cataract blindness or cardiac stent free for all by 2030, it is time to kick-start now. Ensuring wellbeing for all is also a part of the Sustainable Development Goals signed by Bangladesh.
In order to build a better Bangladesh, there is no alternative to increasing investment in the health sector which needs to be spent wisely.
Prof Be-Nazir Ahmed, former director, Communicable Disease Control at the Directorate of Health.