Lone X-ray machine lies idle for 3 decades
The lone X-ray machine at Kulaura Upazila Health Complex has remained inoperative since its installation nearly three decades ago due to shortage of necessary manpower, depriving treatment seekers from the service.
According to the hospital authorities, the X-ray machine was installed near the emergency department at the ground floor of the health complex in February, 1995.
But since then, it never came into operation as the authorities concerned are yet to appoint an operator to make it operational.
Meanwhile, as the machine remained inoperative, patients have to pay extra money for getting their X-rays done outside.
However, the device has been gathering dust inside a room at the hospital for nearly three decades, depriving patients of treatment and wasting resources.
During a recent visit to the 50-bed government hospital this correspondent found the costly machine lying idle alongside different types of other equipment inside a room near the emergency department of the hospital.
While returning, one of the patients Mahfuz Mia, a resident of Karmadha in the upazila, said recently he fell on the road and sustained severe injuries on his right leg.
The doctor at the emergency department of the hospital recommended for an X-ray of the injured leg, he said, adding that as the hospital has no X-ray facility the doctor asked him to go to a private diagnosis centre for the purpose.
Another patient Rehana Akhter of Bhuksimoil area, who had to go to a private clinic for the same purpose, said although it is a government hospital, they have to go to other hospitals or clinics for all kinds of diagnosis.
Like Mahfuz and Rehana, most of the patients, who come to the health complex for treatment purpose, have the same complaint.
According to the hospital sources, on an average, about 300 to 500 patients receive medical treatment there daily, while many of them need to conduct X-ray.
Saidur Rahman, medical technologist (Lab) at the hospital, said the X-ray machine has remain inoperative as no medical technologist (radiology) was appointed in the last 27 years, depriving the poor patients from the service.
Saidul Hasan Shipon, general secretary of Kulaura Journalists' Association, said people, mostly from low- and middle-income group, of 13 unions and a municipality area receive treatment at Kulaura Health Complex, but unfortunately, the X-ray machine remained unused since its installation due to lack of manpower.
Kulaura Upazila Health and Family Planning Officer Mohammad Ferdous Akhtar said the x-ray machine at the upazila health complex may not be functional as it hasn't been unused since its installation in 1995. The authorities concerned have been informed about the vacant post of a medical technologist (radiology) for long, but no step has been taken in this regard yet, he added.