Medical Education and Training

Medical Education and Training

In 1986 Bangladesh had about 16,000 physicians, 6,900 nurses, 5,200 midwives, and 1,580 "lady health visitors," all registered by the government. The annual output of new physicians (both graduate and postgraduate) and dentists, despite some annual fluctuations, helped improve health care in the 1978-86 period. In 1978 there were 822 graduates. A high of 1,848 was reached in 1982, but the number of graduates slumped to 985 in 1986.

Medical education and training was provided by ten medical colleges and eight postgraduate specialized medical institutes. One dental college, twenty-one nursing institutes, eight medical assistant training schools, and two paramedical institutes trained ancillary medical personnel. The quality of medical education and training was considered satisfactory by observers. The Third FiveYear Plan incorporated several measures to expand facilities for the training of specialists and for in-service training of health administrators in management skills. For example, eight fieldtraining subdistrict health complexes had been developed to impart education and training in community medicine. Schemes for improving education in indigenous systems of medicine were taken up, and their implementation was continued as the 1990s approached. The general shortage of physicians and nurses was aggravated by their emigration to the oil-rich countries of the Middle East and to the industrialized countries of the West. Immediately after independence, about 50 percent of the medical graduates sought employment abroad; this trend was later arrested, but special incentives had to be provided to keep medical professionals in the country.

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