Conditions of most of the public hospitals in Dhaka and elsewhere in the country are far from satisfactory. Pitiful service, acute shortage of beds, scarcity and lack of maintenance of equipment in almost all departments, notoriety of lower class employees and the brokers, unsanitary conditions and frequent non-availability of nurses and duty doctors make for the general scenario in our hospitals.
Apart from shortage of logistics, the hospitals are plagued with mismanagement which has in some cases given rise to a parallel administration of lower level employees and brokers. They conveniently carry on their trade in selling of spaces and beds, managing admissions in cabins or wards, making medicines, foods and other services available on payment. Some of them even entice gullible relatives of patients away to private clinics or diagnostic centers.
Sometimes negligence on part of the doctors in attending the patients and deaths caused due to faulty treatment add to the woes of the hapless patients and their relatives.
According to a 2006 estimate, there are about 1683 hospitals in Bangladesh. Of which, 678 are government and rest private. Such small number of hospitals just cannot cope with the growing figure of patients that throng these places everyday. Scenes of patients lodged on the floor are a common sight. Can they feel cared for? In some hospitals, the hygienic conditions are so poor that the stinking corridors and washrooms makes a visitor fall sick.
The government should monitor the overall quality of services in the hospitals, with special focus on maintenance of equipment. It should also clean the hospitals of notorious elements that thrive on the woes of the sick. Such practice will not only help raise professionalism of the country's health care providers, it will also ensure a better deal to the poor who turn to public hospitals for affordable medicare.