Upazila health complex in poor health
The 50-bed Dewanganj Upazila Health Complex in the district is running with inoperative medical equipment and acute shortage of doctors, nurses and other staff.
Though the health complex was upgraded to a 50-bed hospital, with the posts of 14 doctors, 10 consultants and 15 nurses, on October 15, 2011, it still remains a 31-bed one. There are only five doctors and five nurses posted in the hospital, sources said.
The posts of upazila health and family planning officer (UHFPO), resident medical officer (RMO), junior consultants of surgery, medicine, anesthesia, and five posts of staff nurse have remained vacant for three years, said hospital sources.
Only four doctors, including a gynaecological consultant, cannot provide treatment to 300 out patients and 35/40 inpatients every day, said Afrin Islam, medical officer and in-charge of UHFPO.
A large number of patients with acute and lower abdominal pain, gynaecological problems, respiratory tract infection, chest pain, peptic ulcer disease, cardiac problem and other health complications are being deprived of proper treatment from the hospital due to the prevailing situation, she said.
The brand new ultra-sonogram and ECG machines, which had been installed in mid-2015, became dysfunctional in January and February, 2016, while the new China-made X-ray machine, installed on November 25, 2015, went out of order on May 12, 2016, the medical officer said.
As a result, many poor women, who visit the hospital with complications in pregnancy, cannot get imaging tests done in the hospital.
Besides, both male and female patients with acute and lower abdominal pain and kidney ureter bladder (KUB) problems have to go to private diagnostic centres to have their tests, spending Tk 700 for each imaging test -- seven times more than the hospital rate, she added.
Many patients with chest pain, uncontrolled blood pressure, cardiac problem and shoulder pain cannot get the tests done by the hospital's ECG machine, she further said.
The situation is the same with the X-ray machine as it remains dysfunctional, said Khairul Islam, radiographer of the hospital.
During a recent visit to the health complex, this correspondent found that the defective ultra-sound machine and ECG were kept in the storehouse of the hospital, and the radiographer sitting idle beside the inoperative X-ray machine.
This correspondent saw a pregnant woman named Bulbuli Begum, 20, of Sabujpur village under the upazila, who was admitted to the labour ward for normal delivery on May 17.
“I had imaging check-ups of my pregnancy twice in a private diagnostic centre spending Tk 1400,” Bulbuli said. “If I could get the same tests done in the hospital, I would have spent only Tk 200 as per government rate,” she added.
“I have already written to the higher authorities concerned for repairing the instruments, but I do not know when the problems will be solved,” the UHFPO-in-charge added.