Health service limps in Patuakhali district | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, November 24, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, November 24, 2008

Health service limps in Patuakhali district

109 of 164 doctors', all 66 assistant surgeons' posts vacant


Amid shortage of doctors and accommodation, patients stay in a congested ward of Dashmina Upazila Health Complex in Patuakhali.Photo: STAR

With 109 of the 164 posts of doctors lying vacant in different health centres in Patualhali district, only 55 doctors are struggling to cope with healthcare service for about 17 lakh people in seven upazilas in the district.
On an aderage, one doctor is available for every 30,000 people in the district.
Dasmina uapzila is running with only two doctors as 13 of the 15 doctors' posts are vacant. In Mirzaganj upazila 12 of 15, in Kalapara 15 of 18, in Galachipa 21 of 6, in Baufal 17 of 23, in Dumki 5 of 9, in Sadar upazila 15 of 18 posts are lying vacant. In Patuakhali General Hospital 9 out of 33 posts including that of senior surgeon of child and ENT are vacant while the post of junior consultant at TB clinic is vacant. The post of medical officer at Civil Surgeon's Office and another post at District Reserve Store is also vacant.
All the posts of 66 assistant surgeons at union level are also vacant.
During a visit to Dashmina Upazila Heath Complex, this correspondent found that many patients were returning home without getting treatment due to lack of doctors.
Masuma, 35, of Bashbaria village under the upazila came to the health complex with her one and half-month-old child Salman as he is suffering from fever for several days.
“I came here at about 9:30am on the day but now at 1:30pm I am yet to visit any doctor. Many patients gathered here but only two doctors are serving them,” she said.
"Earlier on Wednesday, I came here and collected ticket from the outdoor but returned home without any treatment,” she added.
This correspondent also saw that indoor treatment was being hampered due to shortage of doctors there while over 100 patients were waiting for treatment.
“We have to serve both at outdoor and indoor although there are only three doctors against nine posts. As about 150 to 200 patients came for outdoor treatment daily we find it difficult to cope with the situation,” said the upazila health officer.
“Sometimes visitors of patients become annoyed with us as we fail to give proper attention to the patients,” he added.
When contacted, Patuakhali Civil Surgeon Dr Humayun Kabir said, “We sent several letters to the higher authorities concerned demanding filling the vacant posts but to no effect.”
“We are trying our best to provide health service to the people despite shortage of doctors,” he said.

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