Dhaka,  Thursday
25 July 2024

Escalating medical costs

Curbing excessive profit margins

Editor, The Daily Messenger

Published: 08:34, 6 June 2024

Curbing excessive profit margins

Photo: Collected

Many people in the country are falling back into poverty due to exorbitant medical expenses. It is widely discussed how individuals are suffering from the continuous rise in costs across various sectors of healthcare. According to a recently published study, medical expenses have tripled in the five years from 2018 to 2023. The abnormal increase in medical costs is attributed to the rise in drug prices and the cost of tests. Many people are unable to afford treatment, leading them to leave diseases untreated or stop treatment midway. A significant number of poor individuals in the country are living with illness and distress because they cannot afford medical expenses. They seek medical attention only when their condition becomes critical.

Private hospitals and diagnostic centers have increased all types of medical fees, including patient examination charges, citing the rising costs of importing raw materials and medical equipment. Public health experts point out that there are no national standards or guidelines from the Department of Health to regulate healthcare costs in the country. This lack of regulation allows healthcare providers to charge patients at their discretion.

People are already struggling due to the rise in the prices of daily commodities. In this situation, the abnormal increase in the price of medicine is preventing many from receiving treatment, pushing some towards extreme measures. If this situation continues, the country's health sector may face collapse. It is known that the Ministry of Health is addressing various issues, including reducing medical expenses. We believe that the government must take whatever steps are necessary to make medical expenses affordable for the common people. Strict action should be taken against any drug manufacturing company or service provider that attempts to make unethical profits.

Access to medical care is a fundamental human right. It is the government's responsibility to make medical services accessible to the public and to ensure the health and treatment of its citizens. Without this, the country will fail to develop the desired quality of manpower. However, regardless of how many plans are implemented in the medical sector, it is doubtful whether people will receive the intended benefits if the authorities do not take a firm stand against corruption and mismanagement. Therefore, attention must also be paid to these aspects.