LARGE number of foreign physicians is working in medical colleges and clinics in Bangladesh without valid work permit laundering millions of taka each year. As per a vernacular daily with the mushrooming of private health facilities in the country, foreign physicians, particularly Indian physicians are overcrowding the private sector health organizations but most such practice and their remittance is remaining unreported to local administration and also to the higher revenue authorities of the government. Many of them are also not fairly goof doctors and deceiving aptients.The problem is that we have many private hospitals and clinics, but we have not equally developed enough physicians and also quality physicians. Meanwhile the government is planning to set up two more medical universities and many fear that it may make the nation more dependent on foreign physicians if initiatives are not taken from beginning to develop competent manpower for them. Indian physicians, among others, are practicing giving advertisement in local newspapers. Some of them are working in the name of technical collaboration and others simply as consultants breaking prevailing laws. The law said foreign doctors must have necessary registration from Bangladesh Medical and Dental Council (BMDC). We have no objections if new technologies are introduced and training provided to our local doctors by foreign physicians. But the way they are exploiting the health service is a bizarre breach of law and quite harmful to the nation. It is not acceptable and discipline must be restored in this sector without delay. Some high profile private hospitals in the country have engaged doctors without ensuring that they have proper registrations. Local regulation said foreign doctors and nurses should get registration from BMDC to work in the country. The attraction of most foreign doctors is not their experiences or academic qualifications but their name and identity as foreigners. Physicians from countries like India, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Thailand, the UK, USA and Sweden are coming to Bangladesh under “Technology Transfer” agreement but most South Asians then remain here illegally. They get illegal jobs in medicare practice and mint illegal money.Experts fear such practice is allowing foreign physicians to remain unaccountable to any authority for wrong treatment while restricting access to job opportunities for our young physicians who pass out every year but find it difficult to enter the healthcare sector. It is alleged that foreign physicians are often protected by local hospitals against wrong treatment. This is a chaotic situation in absence of proper monitoring and accountability; it can’t go unabated. Indian physicians are also luring local patients to take treatment from Indian hospitals when Bangladesh has already good facilities for such patients. It is time the Health Ministry must act to stop all such loopholes.
Foreign physicians without work permit