4 out of 17 join Patuakhali duties | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 08, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, August 08, 2010

'Dodgy Doctors'

4 out of 17 join Patuakhali duties

The 250-bed hospital in Patuakhali where only 22 doctors are charged with the daunting task of providing all the patients with medical care.Photo: STAR

Against the backdrop of thousands of people suffering, only four out of 17 doctors posted in Patuakhali 250-bed general hospital have joined their duties.
The Barisal division Directorate of Health transferred these doctors on June 21 with a directive to join the hospital within seven days from the issuance of the order.
Ironically, of the four doctors who have joined, one has already been transferred to his native district of Bhola while another of the same district is pursuing Directorate General of Health in Dhaka to get himself transferred there, said sources in the hospital administration.
The initiative to fill up the vacant posts for doctors came after five years of the hospital's odyssey with only 18 doctors against a requirement of 58.
On an average Patuakhali general hospital every day receives about 400 patients in its outdoor facilities while 100 in the boarding facilities. Most patients here complain of poor treatment.
With serious injuries Yasin Miah, 54, has been admitted to the surgery unit of the hospital a month ago. He said only one orthopedic physician runs the unit and visits patients once a day, five days a week.
"Proper treatment and medical consultancy are hardly found in this hospital. I do not know what to do now," said Yasin Miah.
Golam Mostafa Talukder, senior vice president of Patuakhali Chamber of Commerce, said the hospital only adds to the sufferings of the patients rather than curing them.
"As proper treatment is scarce here, every day many people pay high fares for ambulances to shift their patients to Barisal," Talukder said.
Ziaul Karim, acting residential medical officer (RMO) of the hospital, said, "It is a tough challenge to run such big hospital with a handful of doctors. With so many patients coming to the hospital from eight upazilas, we are simply unable to cope with the pressure."
Barisal division Health Director SM Abul Khayer told The Daily Star that soon after issuing the transfer order to the physicians he had to review his decision and issue a fresh directive.
"According to the new directive, the 17 doctors posted to Patuakhali general hospital will join there after replacements are found for their present post. We transferred those doctors from important posts in Barisal Sadar and other health complexes and need to find their replacements before the leave for Patuakhali," said Abul Khayer.
The director also said that transfers of a few doctors had to be cancelled due to "recommendations" from a minister and Member of Parliament.
"We are aware of the present situation at Patuakhali hospital and trying our best to tackle it," Abul Khayer said. He, however, refuted that the hospital needed 58 doctors and said, " Some more doctors would soon join the hospital."
Sources in Barisal health directorate said the director came under tremendous pressure from high ups as soon as the transfer notifications were issued on June 21.
"Most government doctors are so influential that they can run the show as they wish," said an administrative officer requesting anonymity.
Sources in health department said despite the prime minister's recent warning to absenting doctors, it would be hard to find physicians willing to work in rural areas. This is mainly because of less income and lack of proper housing and schooling for their children. So whenever transferred, the government doctors employ everything in their power to stop the order.
The physicians transferred to Patuakhali general hospital under the June 21 order included Dr. Md. Ali Ahsan (code no. 112858), Dr. Md. Ekramul Kabir (35096), Dr. Nittananda Chowdhury (35107), Dr. Md. Sirajuddin (39405), Dr. HM Habibur Rahman (114663), Dr. Masud Hasan (113444), Dr. Md. Zahidul Islam (112697), Dr. Md. Abdur Rouf (114763), Dr. Md. Al-Amin (No code), Dr. Mohammad Shahidul Islam (No code), Dr. Md. Ashfaq Delwar (No code), Dr. Md. Masudur Rahman (No code), Dr Md. Nurul Haque Mia (Code No. 1005641), Dr. Mostafa Kamrul Islam (No code), Dr. Soheb Mahmud (No code), Dr. Md. Mahmudul Hasan (No code) and Dr. Feroz Kibria (No code).

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