Japan urged to groom hi-tech doctors
Japan urged to groom hi-tech doctors | Bangladesh | bdnews24.com
Fri, Jun 29th, 2012 9:53 pm BdST
Dhaka, Jun 29 (bdnews24.com)—The Health Minister has sought Japan's support to make 'high-tech physicians' in Bangladesh as the technologically advanced nation offers medical visa to access its healthcare.
The Asian giant is offering the facility marking 40 years of bilateral relations.
"We may have advanced machinery but we don't have physicians or manpower to run those," A F M Ruhal Haque said on Friday at a seminar, "we have very few high-tech physicians in the country."
With its state-of-the-art healthcare, Japan eyes affluent Bangladeshis who seek treatment at higher expenses in Singapore, Thailand, South Korea and India.
Although there is no official statistics, experts say a sizeable number of Bangladeshi seek oversees healthcare every year, mainly because of 'a lack of confidence and absence of latest technologies.'
To lure away those particularly who go to Singapore, Japan has set up an office of Emergency Assistance Japan (EAJ) in Bangladesh to help patients access Japanese healthcare.
The Minister said sending patients abroad would not resolve the problems of Bangladesh's healthcare.
"We need to train up our people," he said and added that Japan being the largest development partner supported Bangladesh with its many projects in preventive healthcare.
"But there is no such cooperation in the (health) technology areas."
Hiroyuki Minami, Minister at Embassy of Japan in Dhaka, said the medical visa opened a new era of relations between the two countries. "Our relations will strengthen (by medical tourism)."
Koji Fujimoto, Director, Healthcare Industries Division of Japan's Ministry of Economic, Trade and Industry, said they started attracting foreign patients from last year's April.
"We have already received more than 1200 inquiries." He added that Japan's healthcare was earlier available only for the Japanese.
"But we opened the door to foreigners to contribute to the improvement of the overall quality and competence of medical services both in Japan and in other countries."
The Bangladesh Coordinator of EAJ, Dr Sheikh Aleemuzzaman, said the project would help strengthen healthcare in Bangladesh with 'the exchange of expertise and technology.'
He said after the new initiative, medical visa would be 'easier'. "We will also support (people) in finding a hospital in Japan and follow up back home."
He said the treatment costs would be competitive with Singapore.
Despite advances, Bangladesh Medical Association President Dr Mahmud Hassan said patients go abroad 'due to deficiencies in many areas.'