Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Health ministry misspells Hasina’s name in official letter, minister mum

  • Senior Correspondent
    Published: 2019-04-25 18:58:23 BdST

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has misspelt the name of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in an official letter.

Health Minister Zahid Maleque did not comment on the matter when asked about it at a media briefing on Thursday.

Md Asadul Islam, secretary to the Health Service Division, from where the letter has been issued, said he will look into the issue and take steps to rectify it.

The media briefing was organised on the founding anniversary of Community Clinics which will be celebrated on Friday.

A journalist drew the attention of officials regarding the spelling error in the official letter issued on Apr 15 to private hospitals and clinics ahead of ‘Health Service Week’ from Apr 16 to Apri 20. has obtained of copy of the letter. The letter in Bangla also contains other spelling mistakes but it is rare for a ministry to misspell the name of the head of government.

It spelt the prime minister’s name ‘Sheikha Hasina’ instead of ‘Sheikh Hasina’. The letter also adds a space to the term ‘prime minister’ which is a single word in Bangla.

Journalists have pointed to many irregularities in the health sector as the new minister passed 100 days in office.

But the minister did not make any comment apart from telling a journalist to hold private discussions over the issue of investigation reports on Suhrawardhy Medical College Hospital fire incident and Vitamin–A campaign which was cancelled due to poor quality.

The ministry are yet make the reports public.

The minister also did not reply to a question on the hasty appointment of line directors and directors in different operational plans (OP), such as medical education, hospital, communicable diseases, of the ministry.

One journalist pointed out that the ECNEC, which is chaired by the prime minister, requires a director to lead the OP and questioned the minister on the role of a line director under the circumstance. But the minister again did not make any comment.

The minister also did not comment on the regulations of the private sector. There are widespread allegations of irregularities with the services of private medical facilities including overrates in different diagnostic tests and ICU management.

The private health facilities are still being regulated under the outdated 1982 ordinance despite promises by successive governments to update the law.

The Community Clinic is the flagship programme of the Awami League government aimed at providing healthcare to the door steps of all. The initiative was geared towards setting up a clinic for 6,000 people across the country.

The health minister said that there is now demand to keep those facilities open round the clock as a result of its popularity. “We are thinking about that,” he said, adding that they are also upgrading the structure of the community clinics by extending the capacity of the facilities to four rooms from the current two.