Patuakhali health service limps with 48 docs for 17 lakh people
Health service in Patuakhali is badly suffering as 116 of the 164 posts of doctors have remained vacant in different hospitals and health complexes in the southern district.
Forty-eight doctors are now working for about 17 lakh people of seven upazilas in the district, making only one doctor available for about 35,000 people on an average.
In Dashmina upazila, 13 out of 15 and in Dumki 7 out of 9 doctor's post are vacant. In Mirzaganj upazila 12 out of 15, in Kalapara 15 out of 18, in Galachipa 21 out of 26, in Baufal 17 out of 23, in Sadar upazila 15 out of 18 posts are lying vacant.
In Patuakhali General Hospital, 14 out of 33 posts including senior surgeon of child, ENT are vacant while the post of junior consultant at TB clinic is vacant. The posts of medical officer at Civil Surgeon's Office and another post at District Reserve Store are also vacant.
All the posts of 66 assistant surgeons at the union level are vacant.
During a visit to Dashmina upazila Health Complex on Thursday, this correspondent found many patients returning home without any treatment as only two doctors working there are too insufficient to cope with a number of patients visiting there.
“I have come here with my one and a half months old child Salman as he is suffering from fever for several days. I collected ticket from outdoor yesterday but returned home without any treatment. Today [Thursday] I came at about 9:30am. Now it is 1:30pm but I am yet to visit the doctor,” Masuma, 35, of Bashbaria village under Dashmina upazila, said.
“We have to cover both outdoor and indoor services with only two doctors while seven of the nine posts of doctors have remained vacant here. On an average, 150 to 200 patients come for outdoor treatment daily but it is too difficult for us to give them enough attention,” said the upazila health officer.
The picture of indoor treatment is even worse as over 100 patients daily seek treatment there.
“Sometimes patients and their visitors become annoyed with us as we cannot give proper attention to the patients,” the health officer said.
Asked about the situation, Patuakhali Civil Surgeon Dr Humayun Kabir said, “We sent several letters to the higher authorities concerned urging them to fill up the vacant posts but to no effect.”
“Despite shortage of doctors, we are trying our best to ensure health service for patients,” he said.