50-bed hospital operating with 31-bed rule
Published: 05:48 PM, 17 July 2021
Photo: Daily Bangladesh
Although Sarankhola Upazila Health Complex in Bagerhat is a 50-bed hospital, it has been operating with 31 beds for a long time. In 2012, the hospital was upgraded to 50-beds on paper, but the necessary doctors and manpower were not recruited.
Five beds have already been prepared by opening Corona Ward in the hospital, but the Covid-19 patients are going to Khulna for treatment without being admitted here.
On the other hand, there are only five doctors for about two lakh people in the upazila. X-ray machines, ECGs, operation theaters are closed for a long time. The pathological test cannot be done due to the lack of technicians. The children’s ward is locked. There is not enough manpower in important posts.
Although the patients received services amid the COVID pandemic situation, the patients are helpless due to the pressure of sales representatives of various pharmaceutical companies and some local brokers. The patients who come for treatment from the remote villages of the upazila are the victims of their harassment.
However, the hospital has been plagued by many problems for years, but the authorities have not taken any initiative to solve them. As a result, in many cases, patients are forced to go to clinics and out of the area for treatment at extra cost.
It is learned that in the 1980s, the then government set up a 31-bed hospital on 16 bighas of land in the Rayenda area, the heart of the upazila. However, the upgraded 50-bed hospital is expected to have 14 doctors, including a consultant gynecologist and a pediatrician. But there are only 6 doctors including the upazila health officer. The remaining 8 posts of doctors are vacant.
There is also the crisis of ward boys, cleaning staff, nursemaids and pathologists. X-rays have been broken for 14 years and ECG machines for 7 years. Although there is equipment in the operation theater, no operation is conducted here. As the theater was not used, the government’s equipment worth crores of takas is being wasted.
Some of the outpatients said they got scared whenever the people of the pharmaceutical companies stumble upon the arrival of the doctor.
A local social worker also said it was illegal to harass patients unnecessarily by entering the hospital before the specified time and taking pictures of their prescriptions. In the Covid-19 disaster, harassment of patients and their relatives by pharmaceutical representatives is a crime.
After the hospital was upgraded to 50 beds, food was provided to nurses and patients but the required manpower was not available so far. Besides, the representatives of the pharmaceutical companies have been given time after 2 pm to meet the doctors. However, if someone visits the patient within the time of the visit, action will be taken against them. Moreover, various crises including manpower have been brought to the notice of the higher authorities, said Upazila Health Officer Dr. Farida Yasmin.