Fully-fledged hospital sitting idle for 19 years | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 02, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:24 AM, April 02, 2021

Editorial

Fully-fledged hospital sitting idle for 19 years

Authorities must ensure water supply to operationalise it

It is deeply disconcerting that the Indurkani Upazila Health Complex in Pirojpur, which was established in 2002, has not provided any indoor services to patients since its founding 19 years ago, despite being equipped with the necessary equipment and facilities. The only facility it lacks, however, is a major one—supply of pure water. According to a report published in this daily yesterday, the health engineering department had planned installing a deep tube well to supply water to the 50-bed complex, which reportedly never materialised.

Being located in the coastal belt, Indurkani is known to suffer severely from lack of pure drinking water. But one would assume that those tasked with constructing and operating the health complex would have kept this vital fact in mind and come up with an alternative way of extracting and supplying water. So, why wasn't that the case?

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It would seem the Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) of the area is correct in saying that the hospital was built without a proper plan. Otherwise, why would there be a budget for gardening in the plan when a proper water supply and waste management system has not been ensured? Given the current Covid-19 situation in the country, such a hospital being functional would have meant that hundreds, if not thousands, in the neighbourhood could have access to potentially life-saving treatment. Even if an alternative plan for water supply is executed now, it will likely take months before the hospital can be made fully operational with proper staff and services.

One wonders why such projects are taken up by the authorities in the first place if these are not to be followed through in a timely or efficient manner. What is the use of spending crores of public money if the public is ultimately not getting the services promised? We urge the authorities to urgently solve the water supply problem at the Indurkani Upazila Health Complex and make it functional so it can start providing treatment to the local residents. Those whose negligence or inefficiencies deprived them of vital healthcare services for so long, even after the hospital project's completion, must be held accountable.

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