Ashraf’s Column

Friday, June 16, 2006

Doctors need to be depoliticized

In the last three decades, or so, the most brilliant students of our country were admitted into the medical colleges to become the healers of our diseases. Many of these medical practitioners are doing excellent in foreign countries. Some of them have made name by making outstanding contributions in the field of research in medical science. All these Bangladeshi doctors are not only earning very valuable foreign exchange for our country, but also good name for our people. We have reasons to feel proud of them.

But what is happening with the doctors who are working in Bangladesh? If any newspaper or independent agency conducts an opinion poll, our doctors in Bangladesh will be rated very poorly.

Their disregard for updating professional knowledge, offering wrong treatment to the patients, issuing false medical certificates and injury reports by taking bribe, misbehavior with patients and their next of kin, doing private practice (by government doctors) during official working hours, long absence from place of posting without taking leave and, above all, greed for money is too well known to our people.

We have a health ministry, and a host of directorates and supervising offices under it, to administer our doctors, hospitals and clinics. In spite of that, nothing constructive has so far been done to promote professionalism and discipline among our doctors.

The government and health ministers come and go, but nothing appreciable is done to improve the situation.The root cause of the malady is politicization of the doctors’ community. A political party on coming to power starts cajoling that faction of the Bangladesh Medical Association (BMA) which is politically loyal to it.

The other faction, not friendly to the party in power, just goes into hibernation and waits for the time when its own party comes to power. The pro-government faction takes over the office of the DG Health and starts posting its own favorites to important positions. This is the game of BMA we have been watching for long.

There is another organization called the Doctors’ Association of Bangladesh (DAB) which is openly towing the line of a major political party and doing the same as the BMA.

The BMA and the DAB who claim themselves as the professional organizations of the doctors have been fighting well with the political party in power to extract from them benefits like better pay and perks and higher official status.

But can these organizations tell our countrymen what they have done so far to root out the corruptions and malpractices their members indulge in? In the history of Bangladesh has any doctor ever been punished for committing these offences?

Dear doctors, as the brightest sons and daughters of the soil, you cannot escape the moral obligation you owe to the people of this country who foot the bill to run the medical colleges for you. As doctors the dignity and honor you enjoy in our society, with that you need not belittle yourselves by indulging in the often stinking politics of our country.

Please free the BMA, the DAB, and other similar organizations, from politics. You need not issue political statements, or hold political meetings in favor of a certain political party. There are many people in this country who are doing it well, at times over doing it. But there are none except you who can cure the people of this country from diseases and ailments.

Syed Ashrafuzzaman


  • Dear Brigadier,

    100% right. Doctors shouldn’t be politicized.

    CMH doctors aren’t politicized.

    Why don’t you follow the CMH doctors’ treatment for your illnesses, including diabetes?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 9:39 AM  

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