Corruption at DMCH kitchen
The report that patients at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital have been served substandard foods, year after year, is a harsh reminder of how insensitive a hospital management can be to basic dietary needs of people under their care. The patients could not eat the poor quality foods supplied by the hospital. Are we really talking about a hospital or a place where people in distress are subjected to neglectful treatment?
The DMCH director has admitted that there have been gross irregularities in kitchen management as the supplied foods could not meet the standards set by hospital authorities. It seems malpractice was the order of the day as both the quantity and nutritional values of foods were found to be unsatisfactory by the director himself at the kitchen of the hospital.
The picture of corruption and poor hygiene standards that has emerged from the hospital kitchen shows how the general patients, mostly poor, are neglected in the hospital. It has failed to fulfill the minimum nutritional requirements of the patients, let alone special diets needed for many of them. The corrupt elements have turned the catering service into an unholy profit making business at the cost of poor patients. The seriousness of the offence needs little elaboration.
The contractors have complained that they have to bribe the hospital people at every step to get the job of supplying foodstuffs. Obviously, the patients will never get what is allocated for them as long as corruption on such a scale exists within the hospital management. It is a sad and lamentable truth that people in hospital administration want their share of the monetary allocations earmarked strictly for the patients. The poor treatment seekers are deprived of medicines and reasonably good quality foods in most of the government hospitals.
The DMCH director has claimed that the hospital has succeeded in overcoming the problem and patients are now getting foods having the needed nutritional value and quality. We hope the change for the better will not turn out to be a temporary affair.
There is reason to believe that the situation is more or less the same in other public hospitals. So, the decision makers in the health sector will have to take a holistic view of the situation and adopt corrective measures in order to put an end to such corrupt practices in the public hospitals. It is essentially a question of doing justice to poor patients