It was his heart felt desire to be engaged with extraordinary works for the benevolence to the people of Bangladesh. From the early life, Dr. Shamim watched the socio-condition of the people of this country. He was just a student of class six at the time of our Independence war. He aimed at to be doctor as we have formallyread the essay at our grammar books. That’s “the Aim of Life’, and Dr. Shamimhad not only written this essay in the answer sheets, but he planned to be a good doctor. And he successfully entered the best schools named Zilla Schools of Sylhet, and Comilla. After passing from Victoria College fromComilla, he admitted as a Medical student into Dhaka Medical College, the best medical college after Calcutta Medical College. He became a MBBS Doctor and has done post-graduation in Radiology from BangabonduSk.MujiburRahman Medical College. After that he obtained Diploma in Tropical Medicine from Liverpool, England. His father Md. Ali Ahmed was a government officer, and mother Mrs. Saleha Ahmed is a philanthropist. Dr. Suchorita Ahmed is his life partner. This couple have two sons named Sakib and Sayar, Parisha is their only daughter. In a cordial atmosphere, Dr. Shamim exchanged views with RajuAlim about his long experiencein medicine, health, and technology with the vision and mission he had kept in heart, now turned into reality with a success story.
Q: What is your opinion that we can’t save our lives if we wouldn’t avail treatment in foreign countries by Air ambulance or by plane? Is it the real picture? Please.
Dr. Shamim: Actually the real picture is not like that. Presently 90% people of are habituated and fleeling comfort to get treatment in the country. One decade ago, about 1, 00,000 people went to foreign countries for this purpose, still the number almost remains the same digit. Whereas the patients have been increasing day by day. LabAid usually has a pressure to facilitate treatment to outdoor patients of 8000 at every day. These people are not moving to foreign countries any more. We have every type of health services such as Cardiac, Nephrology, and General treatments except on Cancer treatment. It is our next project to build a cancer hospital.
Q: Sir, It’s a matter of mentality to visit foreign countries for treatment?
Dr. Shamim: Of course. As for an example, when a person informs that s/he is hurry to Singapore for treatment purpose, obliquely expressed a vanity. I just term it’s not good thing but a beggar’s statement. You see, about 20 years back, my mom had to go Scotland for an angiogram with me. We had expended Tk. 4.00 lac with a three days visit. The doctors of Scotland were surprised to know that we couldn’t do this simple treatment. Now look, we usually do every day 40 angiogramtests at a cost of only Tk.16.000/ only for half an hour time to spend.
Most interesting that our government had to take a rude decision in banning the kidney transplantation treatment due a bad impact on some negative news as propaganda spread over the media. We had earlier operated the same cases. And now we had to stop this. On the other hand, you see, people are moving to India to transplant the kidneys. Now on that this treatment cost is about Tk.12-15lacs, but we needed only Tk. 3.00 lacs about 3 years back. We have no health insurance coverage, even average people are not taken heath cost in consideration to be kept. For this backdrop of our national policy, you can’t make happy unless you do so. Health insurance can help the people in the crying needs of treatment since were not prepared for this huge expenditure.
Q: Whyhealth insurance is not considered yet?
Dr. Shamim: Good question. Nobody came forward. In India, you see that the corporate executives are availing this sort of benefits. A young man of 22 years only is facilitated a fund of Tk. 2.00 lacs for his parents’ treatment whereas his salary is Tk. 22,000/only. In this case, the executive receives 50% money from the company and rest 50% from the government. Can you imagine this opportunity in our country? Now, only Green Delta Insurance Company comes forward to minimize the gap.
It’s my suggestion to the common people to get treatment from the young and less busy doctors. Since the country famous doctors are really busy to do the jobs out of their routine works. The midlevel doctors having post-graduation, are very much careful about their career and to the patients.
Q: Do you feel a doctor can examine about 80/100 patients at every day? Please tell about VAT system in heath sector.
Dr. Shamim: An efficient physician may perform. I would like to mention of the Editor of Manabjomin Mr. Motiur Rahman [MotiBhavi] who had to get a by-pass surgery from foreign country, now he is a regular checkup patient of Lab Aid.
At present the health facilities are very easy for the people to accommodate the cost sine the government has not order to charge VAT against services and 5% equipment can import as per requirement by the hospital. Only 15% VAT has been imposed on medicine. In the cases of dialysis, Ventilation, and such sort of life saving treatments, the Government is relaxed. And it’s a good sign from Government.
Q: As we know like United and your Lab Aid are quite expensive hospitals. How can you define this compain?
Dr. Shamim: You know our hospitals are tertiary in nature. The people get one point solution. You see, earlier people used to move foreign countries. Now we have successful in treating and operation successfully like By-pass surgery, Renal Transplantation, Nero- surgery and many more services you do expect. You have to agree with my opinion that to get developed treatment, you need to expense a little bit.
Q; Will you please tell us your success story? Dr. Shamim: It’s quite interesting as well melancholic as at the same time. After qualifying in BCS Exam, I had to join at the heath cadre and was duly posted to Gopalgonj. From the student life I was very much concerned of development politics and was involved on the side of this. In 1986, my hospital at Gopalgonj was very backward position in terms of electricity. I had visited the graveyards of the Father of the Nation BangabondhuShiekhMuzibur Rahman and Mrs. Rahman. In this connection, I had to deal the delivery cases even at the banks of the river at that time without any hesitation. People loved me and I loved the village people too. And this is my inspiration.
Q: Please share the background the launching of Lab Aid Hospital.
Dr. Shamim: It’s an amazing matter to me and my family. It’s a romance too. I have seen an excellent diagnosis center in Liverpool, and made up my mind to establish such lab in my city.There was one medical diagnostic lab in Dhaka city at Elephant road. We had planned to open a diagnostic lab and started named Green Diagnostic lab. Since people had to move heather and theater for various tests as per doctor’s prescription. I had to move England since I availed a scholarship in England and the value of this scholarship was 10,000 pounds at that time. All my friends and the partners of lab, had been stayed in abroad but I had come back.
To facilitate the patients I had made up my mind to build a hospital and was successful on the grace of Allah and my father’s contribution in setting up this hospital. We started this hospital with 08 doctors only in 26th March, 1989 with my father’s pension fund Tk. 85,000/. It was a very crucial time of fund shortage. However I had been graced by Enayet Hospital in helping me to do so. And our LabAid Specialized Hospital was stated on 2006. Today you see that we are now running LabAid at Gulshan and other parts of the city in full swing. In continuation of the said hospital we have started State College of Health Sciences under Dhaka University. Technicians have been graduating from our institute. You see, there are still a high demand of the Nurses, Physiotherapists, and Technicians in heath sector.
Q: What is your next mission on health sector?
Dr. Shamim: I had already crossed of 25 years’ experience at heath sector and I have detected that marketing and advertising cost is so high that the foreign pharmaceutical companies would not run their business in Bangladesh. Due to excessive cost on gift items to be borne by the pharmaceutical companies that the patients have to bear the same ultimately. So I am thinking to do the better for pharmacy, and we have launched a project in 2013 by establishing our LabAidpharmaceuticals. People now thinking about the worthiness of medicine not merely the advertisement. It has been reported that 14% medicines are of fake category and 11%are of expired. Simply 40% medicine doesn’t work on human bodies and people are suffer a lot. We have established pharmacies and by 2018 it would reach up to 800. We have arranged the pharmacy at this stage that everybody can purchase medicine as per prescription and this benevolent step makes happy the customers in general.
Q: We see the patients complain that cost of treatment is very high. What is your opinion on this matter?
Dr. Shamim: I do agree on this ground and you know, reliable treatment is always high in everywhere of the world. However, we are introducing treatment facilities to the poor people. And for ensuring the same we are in construction progress at Purbachal to build a LabAid Medical Hospital with 200 beds at the first stage and hope this hospital will be in functioning 2018. We need to stand beside the people. Hope LabAid shall minimize the gap soon. I had crossed a tough time at my early professional life but had neverI lost my patient.
Q: What is your message to young generation?
Dr. Shamir: I do believe that new generation should perform the duties to the country. I feel its war to shape dream into reality by hard working. Honesty, labor, and commitment shall make a person to gain success. Love people, and your life too, and make this world a happy house as you nurture your dream, this should be your aim of life, my young generation. Let keep your commitment to this society and the earth that you live.