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The Financial Express

Doctors threaten agitation over 'control' of top health posts by admin cadre

| Updated: October 19, 2020 19:12:11


Lankabangla and Fianancial Express Lankabangla and Fianancial Express
Photo: bdnews24.com Photo: bdnews24.com

Doctors’ groups have complained to the health minister about officials from administration cadre holding big positions in the government health agencies and ignoring the views of the officials who are physicians by training.

At a seminar organised by the Society of Surgeons at a Dhaka hotel on Sunday, they threatened the government with agitation if it did not look into the issues.

Government officers of different cadres in their relevant agencies often express displeasure over their counterparts from the administration cadre holding key posts.

Dr Iqbal Arslan, the president of Swadhinata Chikitsok Parishad or Swachip, alleged at the seminar that the administration cadre officers are “trying to control science” in the fight against COVID-19 when other countries rely on expert views to design their plans.

Political leaders will make policies heeding the advice of the experts while the officials of the administration will implement the decisions – this is how the work should be done, according to him.

“They (administration cadre officials) are trying to implement the decisions they make themselves ignoring advice from the scientists in this country,” said the former secretary general of Bangladesh Medical Association or BMA.

“The bureaucrats are trying to control everything like the British era rule. They are doing so with the mindset to control. They're trying to seize control of the country by exploiting the coronavirus crisis. We won’t accept it,” he said.

“We had warned them when they had done the same thing in the past. But it appears that they don't care. BMA will wage a movement like we had done before, if necessary, to make them heed our warnings,” Dr Arslan added.                                              

Dr Md Ehteshamul Huq Choudhury, the secretary general of BMA, said the association and Swachip will sit with senior doctors from across the country at the BMA Bhaban on Monday.

The organisations will announce programmes after meetings with the Krishibid Institute, Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh and other groups of professionals next week.

Dr Ehteshamul said the government had recently appointed an administration cadre official as the director of Central Medical Stores Depot discounting objections by doctors. Now the official ignores the Director General of Health Services, the doctor said.

“We don’t care whether he is an additional secretary or secretary. He has joined as a director, so he must come to meetings called by the director general. If he doesn’t like it, he can go,” Ehteshamul said.

Dr MA Aziz, the general secretary of Swachip, said as many as 610 officials have been promoted to additional secretaries against 113 posts, which has led the government to create new posts in different agencies to accommodate those promoted, reports bdnews24.com.

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