Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday inaugurated the newly-constructed country’s largest 500-bed Ahsania Mission Cancer & General Hospital in the city’s Uttara area, ushering in a new horizon for the treatment of cancer patients in the country.
Hasina inaugurated the international standard hospital on a 6.5-bigha land with all modern and technological facilities for carrying out diagnosis, chemotherapy and radiotherapy for cancer-affected patients.
Speaking at a function marking the inauguration of the hospital on its premises, the Prime Minister urged the Dhaka Ahsania Mission to dedicate the hospital to the welfare of people as it has been built with their money.
She assured of continuing all-out support and assistance from the government for the development of the hospital like in the past, and hoped the hospital authorities would keep their due attention round the clock so that the common people, especially the cancer patients, could easily get treatment at an affordable cost.
Health and Family Welfare Minister Mohammad Nasim, Social Welfare Minister Syed Mohsin Ali, Advocate Sahara Khatun MP, Trustee Board Chairman of Ahsania Mission Cancer & General Hospital eminent lawyer Barrister Rafiq-ul-Haque and President of Dhaka Ahsania Mission Kazi Rafiqul Alam spoke on the occasion. Adviser of the Hospital Syeda Dina Haque delivered the welcome address.
Later, the Prime Minister formally inaugurated the Hospital through unveiling its plaque.
The hospital, situated around 5 km away from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, will be operated on non-profit and non-loss basis.
Once the 500-bed 15-storey hospital goes into full-scale operation with 4.50 lakh square feet space, there would be outpatient department having 40 exam and consultation rooms, medical imaging, pathology, radiotherapy department, non interventional cardiac and neuro diagnostic, daycare and other facilities.
According to hospital sources, some Tk 100 crore in foreign currency could be saved every year through providing outpatient medical services to some 1,80,000 people every year.
Initially, the estimated expenditure of the hospital was Tk 256 crore but it now rose to Tk 378 crore. Some Tk 112 crore has so far been spent on land acquisition, construction works, procurement of medical equipment and other purposes.
The Ministry of Social Welfare alongside the Health and Family Welfare have allocated Tk 64 crore for the hospital while DBBL, Pubali Bank and corporate sector provided Tk 29 crore.
At the function, Dutch Bangla Bank Limited and Al Arafah Islami Bank Limited donated Tk 15 Crore and Tk 10 lakh respectively for further development of the country’s biggest cancer hospital.
The Prime Minister received the Tk 15 crore cheque from DBBL Chairman Saif Ahmed and Tk 10 lakh cheque from Director of Al Arafah Islami Bank KH Mezbah Uddin Ahmed. She then handed over the cheques to the hospital authorities.
Extending her heartfelt thanks to those who have rendered their wholehearted financial support for building such a big hospital through the Ahsania Mission, the Prime Minister also requested the affluent section of society to extend their hands in developing it as a state-of-the art institute for cancer treatment in the country.
Recalling that some 6.5 bighas of land was allocated against the hospital in 1997 during her rule, Hasina said she was delighted to inaugurate this hospital, and hoped that the affluent section of society would come up with more assistance for its further development.
Mentioning that Bangladesh was once branded as a state of terrorism, militancy and corruption, Hasina said, “But, after assuming office in 2009, we’ve been able to erase that bad name and fulfil the basic needs of people through establishing good governance.”
Highlighting various successes of the government in the health sector, the Prime Minister called upon all, including the private physicians and health attendants, to help maintain the continuity of the health sector achievements by the government.
She mentioned that a total of 5, 743 doctors were recruited in the last five years through BCS examinations and ad-hoc basis while jobs of over 5,000 physicians appointed on ad-hoc basis were regularised during the period.
Sheikh Hasina said about 75,000 new hands, including 17,000 health assistants, were recruited during the period, while the post of the Nurse has been upgraded to grade II from grade III.
The Prime Minister mentioned that her government has formulated a time-befitting National Health Policy to ensure healthcare and medicare services for the mass people.
Highlighting various achievements of her government in various sectors including in power, Hasina also expressed her firm resolve to turn Bangladesh into a mid-income country by 2021.