Lone Medical University: Running without emergency unit since inception in 1998
The country's premier postgraduate medical institution, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU), is being run without an emergency department since its inception in 1998.
The Institute of Postgraduate Medical Research was converted into BSMMU for expanding the facilities for higher medical education and research in the country.
The medical university-slash-hospital also provides medical services.
Patients coming to the BSMMU for immediate treatment have to go to Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) again as it has no emergency department, said BSMMU doctors.
They said an emergency department is not only required for patients but also mandatory for students of the hospital. Students of orthopedics department have to go to DMCH for a three-month internship to get firsthand knowledge to deal with emergency patients.
Over a year after laying the foundation stone of an emergency department, any of the top officials of the BSMMU, including its vice-chancellor, pro-vice-chancellors, treasurer and deans, could not say for sure when the initiative would be completed.
BSMMU Vice-Chancellor Kamrul Hasan Khan unveiled the foundation stone on the first floor of the cabin block on the hospital premises in December 2015.
Contacted, Prof Atiqur Rahman, dean of medical technology, said emergency department is a must for the hospital to reach a certain standard. "As no sincere initiative has so far been taken, the department could not be set up.”
Pro-VC (academic) ASM Zakaria Swapan, also head of the central procurement committee of BSMMU, said the authorities formed a committee to implement the initiative of setting up of the emergency department and his office approved a tender to buy necessary medical equipment six months ago in this regard. But after that, there had not been any significant progress to this end, he said.
"Without the emergency department, medical education is not complete and students are getting incomplete degrees due to lack of the department,” he told The Daily Star.
Contacted, VC Prof Kamrul told this correspondent that the process to set up the emergency department was underway. “We are trying to buy [medical] equipment."
Currently, the BSMMU has emergency services at orthopedics, neurosurgery, paediatrics, gynaecology and cardiology departments.
Prof Kamrul said they have a plan to set up a 20-bed emergency department for both male and female patients with operating theatre facility.
Primarily, patients would be admitted to the emergency department. They would be then shifted to departments concerned, depending on patients' condition, he added.
On an average, around 5,000 people go to the BSMMU outdoor for treatment every day, said BSMMU sources.