A new horizon has been opened up in cancer treatment in Bangladesh as the country’s largest cancer hospital formally started its journey on 9 April, 2014.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the much-awaited state-of-the-art Ahsania Mission Cancer and General Hospital in the city’s Uttara area, urging the hospital authorities to dedicate it to the services of the people.
“I hope that you would always remain careful so that the common people, especially the cancer patients, get scope for treatment easily and at lower cost,” she said.
In this connection, Sheikh Hasina assured that all kinds of the government assistance in the development activities of the hospital which would treat both cancer and general patients would continue in future like the past.
The Prime Minister requested well-off people of the society to extend their hands to build the hospital as a most modern institute in cancer treatment.
Sheikh Hasina urged all to work for the welfare of the people and take the country forward by shunning all differences.
“Let us come to work for the welfare of the people and take the country forward by shunning all differences so that Bangladesh could stand on the world stage by keeping its head high,” she said.
Health Minister Mohammad Nasim, Social Welfare Minister Syed Mohsin Ali, former minister Advocate Sahara Khatun, MP, eminent jurist and Advisor of the Ahsania Mission Barrister Rafiq-ul Haque, President of Ahsania Mission Kazi Rafiqul Alam and advisor of Ahsania Mission Syed Dina Haque also spoke on the occasion.
Sheikh Hasina said Dhaka Ahsania Mission authorities have been able to build such a big hospital with the money of the people. “I am extending my thanks to those who overwhelmingly donated money to build the hospital,” she said.
Since its inception, Sheikh Hasina said, Ahsania Mission has been working ceaselessly to serve the humanity side by side with implementing various programmes to establish human rights and social justice.
“As the country’s biggest cancer hospital built by the mission, it has created a huge scope for cancer treatment,” she said.
The Prime Minister said she was happy to know that “Ahsania Mission Children City” has been set up with floating children aged between 6 and 8 years in Panchagarh where 10,000 such children would get a scope for growing in motherly affection.
Illustrating her government’s different steps for the development of the health sector, Sheikh Hasina said the government is pledge-bound to ensure healthcare services for all. “Our activities in health sector have been acclaimed nationally and internationally and Bangladesh got different awards including the MDG and South-South award for its stunning success in the health sector,” she said.
She called upon all including private physicians and health workers to retain the government successes in the health sector.
The Prime Minister said Bangladesh has been recognised as a role model on the world stage due to the country’s astonishing successes in different fields.
“Bangladesh was once known as a country of terrorism, militancy and corruption in the world. But it has now become a role model as the Awami League government established good governance, ran the state with efficiency and fulfilled the basic needs of the people,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said her government has been working relentlessly to materialise Vision 2021. “We would turn Bangladesh into a middle income country by 2021 and a developed and prosperous country with high income by 2041,” she said.
Later, the Prime Minister inaugurated the hospital by unveiling its plaque. A munajat was offered on the occasion.
After opening the hospital, Sheikh Hasina went round its different sections. At the function, Dutch-Bangla Bank handed over a cheque for Taka 15 crore and Al Arafah Islami Bank a cheque for Taka 10 lakh to the Prime Minister for the development of the hospital.
The 15-storey hospital is located over 6.5 bighas of land on the bank of the Turag river, which is five kilometre away from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airoprt. The Awami League government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina during its tenure in 1997 allocated land for the hospital.
The hospital with 4.5 lakh square feet of space is being constructed in three phases. The first phase has just been completed and it is already providing health care services. The second phase of the 500-bed hospital is expected to be completed in July next year and the third phase in December 2016.
Initially the estimated cost for construction of the hospital has been earmarked at Taka 256 crore. But, according to authorities, the project cost would stand at Taka 378 crore. The hospital has so far received Taka 112.63 crore from different government and non-government organizations as well as individuals as donations. Of the amount, the Social Welfare Ministry and the Health Ministry gave Taka 64 crore.
According to authorities, the hospital will run on a ‘no- profit-no- loss’ basis, and 30 percent of services will be provided free of cost to the poor and needy patients. There are also provisions for donors to sponsor different facilities of the hospital in one’s own name or in the name of their loved ones. The cost of treatment and services would also be much lower than those available at top hospitals in Bangladesh.
The Ahsania Mission has already set up a fund so the poor can receive treatment for free or at subsidized rates. Foreign currencies equivalent to Taka 100 crore will be saved annually by providing treatment to 1.8 lakh outpatients, the authorities said.