Right people not in right place for formulating public health policy

| Updated: November 30, 2021 16:35:21

Right people not in right place for formulating public health policy

The right people are not being placed in the right place at the right time while formulating public health policies, a study revealed on Monday.  

The study also stated that grassroots voices are also missing in the process, says a UNB report.

Bangladesh Health Watch (BHW), a multi-stakeholder civil society platform, conducted the research in association with the James P Grant School of Public Health of Brac University.

Dr Md Atiqul Haque of the public health and informatics department of the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) and his team carried out the study on the inventory of health policy and policy forums.

This study is aimed at exploring the participation of citizens and policy forums in health policy processes.

The findings were disclosed at a roundtable in the capital. The session was chaired by Dr Zakir Hossain, former director of the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research and working group member of BHW.

BSMMU Vice-Chancellor Dr Md Sharfuddin Ahmed attended the programme as chief guest. Dr Yasmin H Ahmed, an advisor to BHW, moderated it.

Dr Shah Monir Hossain, former director-general of the Directorate General of Health Services, Dr Sohel Reza Choudhury, professor and head of the Department of Epidemiology and Research of the National Heart Foundation, were present as panellists.

Lead researcher Dr Atiqul presented the overall research process and study findings.

His team developed a comprehensive inventory of policies formulated in the health sector of Bangladesh since the country's independence.

Dr Zakir said, "We need to develop a framework for public health. It should be designed by public health experts. There needs to be collaboration between public health experts and civil society as well."

Dr Sharfuddin said, "We need to set up an institute like the Bangladesh Public Administration Training Centre as there was no such institute for the health practitioners and public health experts. Also, we need to enhance the learning capacity of these people."

The panellists said health practitioners' involvement is necessary in the policymaking process.

Dr Shohel said: "The beneficiaries' voices have been neglected and thus the civil society needs to play a crucial role. The citizens' voice needs to be raised and their claims should reach the policymakers."

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