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19 April, 2019 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 19 April, 2019 01:52:20 AM
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Patients flood Dhaka hospitals as district facilities lacking

BSMMU data show at least 20,60,159 patients received treatment at the hospital last year
MD HABIBULLA, Dhaka
Patients flood Dhaka hospitals as district facilities lacking

The number of patients is increasing overwhelmingly every year at the capital’s major specialised hospitals because these patients allege they are not getting proper treatment for critical diseases in district and divisional headquarters hospitals. Experts have said the number of patients have been increasing significantly in the capital’s major hospital in the last several years as other parts of the country don’t have such specialised hospitals like kidney hospital, cardiology hospital, cancer hospital and eye hospital.

“We are facing huge pressure of patients from across the country as there are no specialised hospitals outside the capital. Number of patients has been increasing every year,” said Md Nazmul Karim Manik, additional director (Hospital) of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU).

According to the BSMMU data, at least 20,60,159 patients had come to the hospital while there were about 3500 doctors in 2018 while the number of patient in 2017 was 13,05,595 against the same number of doctors.

On average per day 140 patients were admitted in 2018 which was 102 in 2017. Among the admitted patients, 60 per cent are female and 40 per cent are male.

The account of patients at the BSMMU is an example of the overall scenario for other major hospital in the capital.

Visiting different major hospital in the capital, including BSMMU, Dhaka Medical College (DMC) and Birdem General Hospital, The Independent found the patients from different parts of the country are flooding the hospitals for better treatment.

Sirajul Islam, who came from Dinajpur to the hospital with his father, has said his father is a heart patient. As there is no specialised cardiac hospital in Dinajpur, the doctors referred my father to the BSMMU.

“My father is a diabetic patient. Suddenly, his condition deteriorated. Local doctors suggested me to take my father to the Birdem hospital for better treatment,” said Ziaur Rahman, who came from Brahmanbaria, adding that if the government had built such specialised hospital at the district level, we wouldn’t have suffered.

Md Nazmul Karim has said to reduce the number of patient in the capital’s specialised hospitals, the government has to build similar hospitals in districts so that the patients could get the same treatment in their home towns. A large number of specialist doctors are particularly needed for heart patients.

“A number of patients died while they were taken to the hospitals in the capital from different remote areas of the country,” he said.

Sources in the health sector have said that health services in rural areas are suffering as doctors prefer to work in Dhaka.

Despite Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the Ministry of Health having repeatedly called for doctors to change their mentality and work in rural areas, the problem seems to only be growing.

According to a survey of Bangladesh Demographic Health, the vast majority of MBBS doctors work in urban areas as opposed to rural areas, with as many as 74 per cent in the former.

On the other hand, the patients and their attendants who come to the hospitals from remote areas, are often fleeced by a group of middlemen and fraudulent people.

When patients arrive at the hospital, these groups of people promise better service in exchange of money. They harass the patients in different ways after promising early treatment or giving beds at the wards or cabins.

Admitting the presence of middlemen, Syed Moszaffar Ahmed, professor of physical medicine and rehab department, and also Proctor of BSMMU, said: “It’s a problem not only for the BSMMU. The middlemen are active in almost every other government hospitals in the capital and elsewhere in the country.”

“We’re trying to prevent brokers from entering the hospital but it is not possible for us alone to check it, the patients’ relatives must also be aware of it,” he said. However, the country is observing the National Health Service Week from April 16 to April 20 for the first time across the country to make people aware of their right to have access to the highest level of health services.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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