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19 November, 2019 00:00 00 AM
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X-ray machines lie defunct in five upazila hospitals

Over 300 to 400 patients visit the outdoor departments of these health centres daily, but most of them have to go to private hospitals for proper treatment.
OUR CORRESPONDENT, Noakhali

The X-ray machines in government health centres in five upazilas of Feni district have been lying inoperative for a long time due to shortage of manpower.

This has hampered diagnostic facilities in these units. As a result, poor patients in these areas are forced to return home without adequate treatment or go to more expensive private clinics.

Conceding the problem, Feni civil surgeon Nehamatullah said it was difficult to operate the X-ray machines because the required technicians were yet to be recruited. Besides, irregular power supply in these upazilas has also hampered the functioning of the machines, he added.

“Specialist doctors face difficulties in treating many patients without X-ray reports. We have requested our higher authorities several times to recruit technicians and provide the health centres with logistical support. But our demands have not been fulfilled yet,” he added.

Visits to the upazila health centres in Daganbhuiyan and Songazi revealed that the X-ray machines have been lying inoperative for the past 15 years due to manpower shortage and erratic power supply.

Dr Nurul Alam, Songazi upazila health and family welfare officer (UHFO), said the posts of medical technicians at the health centres have been lying vacant for 10 years. “We have written to the higher authorities to take steps to fill up the vacant posts, but there has been no result yet,” he added.

Dr Alam disclosed that the government had upgraded the Songazi health centre to a 50-bed one, but it was still functioning as a 31-bed facility. “This has resulted in severe disruption to administrative activities as well as enormous suffering to patients,” he said.

Sources said apart from X-ray machines, several necessary equipments for ultrasonography and other diagnostic tests were lying defunct due to manpower shortage, severely affecting services at these upazila health centres.

Over 300 to 400 patients visit the outdoor departments of these health centres daily, but most of them have to go to private hospitals for proper treatment.

Mojjmal Hossain, a patient from Chandina char, said, “There is a dearth of sufficient machinery and doctors at the health centre and so many patients go to private hospitals for tests and treatment.  As a result, the government is also losing revenue.”

The Feni civil surgeon’s office assistant Abdul Mannan said last December, six health complexes were sent six digital X-ray machines. While the Chhagalnaiya upazila health complex installed the machine, the other units could not do so due to various problems, including erratic power supply and shortage of technicians. He also said at present, the posts for seven technicians were lying vacant.

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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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