The government is going to make it compulsory for doctors at government hospitals to serve at the upazila level for at least two years. Otherwise the Ministry of Health will not allow a doctor to pursue higher education.
When doctors are transferred or recruited to district or upazila level, they are reluctant to join.
The situation is yet to improve despite Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's repeated emphasis on the role of doctors at the upazila level.
Recently, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) made a 25-point recommendation to stop corruption in the health sector, in which doctors are required to serve at the upazila level for two years.
Besides, a decision has been taken to formulate a specific transfer policy for government hospital doctors.
Following the recommendation of the anti-corruption body, the health ministry has also decided to extend the internship period of doctors to two years. They are having internship for one year now.
The decision was taken at a meeting on September 1, chaired by Health Secretary Md Abdul Mannan.
The meeting also discussed various steps including recruitment in the health sector, prevention of corruption in the process of making jobs permanent, curbing corruption in procurement of medicines in government hospitals, and fixing fees for government hospital doctors involved in private practice.
According to the meeting minutes, the people do not know the quantity of medicines available in district, upazila, union and community hospitals, and which medicines are provided in those hospitals.
From now on, the medicines available in the hospital stock will have to be published on digital banners every day.
The director general of the health department has been directed to issue an office order in this regard.
Besides, in the case of procuring medicines and medical equipment, tenders should be floated through e-GP.
However, the health secretary claimed at the meeting that medicines and medical equipment were currently being procured through e-GP tenders.
He mentioned that the Central Medical Stores Depot (CMSD) has already saved Tk124 crore by making proper purchases following PPR.
Besides, monitoring teams will be formed in government hospitals to monitor organised brokers, and legal action will be taken against those brokers.
At the meeting, the health secretary said, "There are many contractors who embezzle large sums of money from people by promising them jobs or making their jobs permanent."
He suggested legal action against those contractors.
During the discussion, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, additional secretary (Administration) of the Ministry of Health, said that an order was issued to recruit manpower directly in the 18th to 20th grades.
But the manpower was recruited through outsourcing, he added.
The meeting also decided that outsourcing recruitment should be discouraged. So, a new policy will be formulated.
Further, it will be made compulsory for doctors' prescriptions to be clean and readable, and the generic name of the medicine to be written there. The Department of Health will issue an office order in this regard.
Moreover, there are initiatives to stop doctors from receiving gifts from pharmaceutical company representatives.
So, representatives of pharmaceutical companies will be barred from entering hospitals.
During the discussion, the health secretary said, "The representatives of pharmaceutical companies harass patients. The doctors do not even provide the right medicine being allured by the gifts."
The physicians cannot recommend specific labs or diagnostic centres for pathological examination of patients, said Md Abdul Mannan, the health secretary.
The Department of Health is also working on formulating a guideline to prevent doctors from doing this, he added.