South Korean Ambassador to Bangladesh Lee Jang-keun on Thursday visited the construction site of the new specialised hospital under Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) and said it will serve as a symbol of close relationship between Bangladesh and Korea.
"This Hospital will be the first specialized hospital in Bangladesh for the treatment of critical patients and serve as a symbol of our close relationship and ever-strengthening friendship," he said.
During his visit to the site, Ambassador Lee said it is the largest project in medical area with Korea's support.
Vice-Chancellor of BSMMU Dr Md Sharfuddin Ahmed, Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Health Md Shahadat Hossain, Chairman and Director of the Project of BSMMU Md Zulfiqur Rahman Khan and other staff of Hyundai Development Corporation, Sunjin Engineering and Samsung C&T were present.
The project is funded by South Korea's concessional loan, Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF), with the total cost of US $130,917,000.
The groundbreaking ceremony for the construction was held in September 2018 with the presence of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
The work is well in progress despite the impact of COVID-19 and is expected to be inaugurated soon, said the Ambassador.
South Korean companies, Hyundai Development Company (HDC), Sunjin Engineering and Samsung C&T are involved in the implementation of the project.
The hospital is designed to accommodate a total of 700 beds and 5 specialized centers.
It will also be equipped with cutting-edge medical devices and health information system (HIS). The new hospital will feature the largest medical service system in Bangladesh.
The project goes beyond a mere construction of the building.
Doctors and nurses of the BSMMU have been invited to Korea for medical education and training.
Hospital managers have also visited Korea to participate in training in hospital operation and management.
The health sector has long been one of the priority areas of South Korea's ODA to Bangladesh with an aim to help providing quality healthcare services to Bangladesh people, said the South Korean Embassy in Dhaka.
South Korea established Bangladesh-Korea Friendship Hospital in 1998 in Savar which added an Eye Care Unit to the hospital recently.
The National Institute of Advanced Nursing Education and Research (NIANER) opened in 2016 with the support of KOICA, a Korea's grant aid agency.
Korea invited so far more than 250 Bangladesh medical professionals to Korea and provided education and training in various areas of medical expertise.
Ambassador Lee said, "South Korea continues to commit to improving healthcare service in Bangladesh through various ODA projects so that Bangladesh people can enjoy quality healthcare service and health life."