In a sharp contrast to the countrywide scenario, doctors posted in various public hospitals in the capital outnumber the approved posts there.
According to information revealed at a discussion organised by icddr,b, the number of government doctors in Dhaka city is 42 percent higher than the approved posts.
It has been disclosed in the programme that 8,470 doctors are currently working against 5,955 positions in the city public hospitals, meaning there are an additional 2,514 doctors in these healthcare centres.
However, the scenario is completely the opposite outside the capital city.
In Chattogram, the number of doctors posted in public hospitals is 43.7 percent less than the approved number of posts.
Meanwhile, in Rajshahi there is a 59 percent shortage of doctors against the vacancies there, in Rangpur the shortage is 59 percent, in Khulna it is 56.2 percent, in Barishal 62.2 percent, in Sylhet 51.5 percent and in Mymensingh the number of government doctors is 40.8 percent lower than the approved posts.
In the keynote presentation, Dr Iqbal Anwar, Scientist and Project Coordinator, SHARE Project, Universal Health Coverage Programme at icddr,b highlighted the present situation of health workforce distribution in Bangladesh.
He has presented several setbacks of the existing system include overly-centralised health system, weak governance and regulatory framework, weak management and institutional capacity in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, inequitable allocation of doctors, high rate of vacancy at the upazilla level, high number of deputation posting, inadequate amenities and lack of proper educational facilities for children of the health professionals posted in the rural areas etc.
The chief guest of the dialogue Director General of Directorate of Health Professor Dr Prof Abul Kalam Azad said, “We have made some significant progresses, we now have data to identify gaps in the distribution of health workforce. However, we need better coordination among stakeholders, and united approach to address the shortcomings in this sector.”
The programme was moderated by Professor Robayet Ferdous, a faculty at mass communication and journalism department of Dhaka University.
Among others, Coordinator of Directorate of Health Dr Musktak Hossain, Member of Health Policy Dialogue Dr M A Fayez spoke on the occasion.