A hospital without essential services

DSCC-run hospital urgently needs an overhaul

Dhaka South City Corporation has two hospitals and a Matri Sadan under its management. A recent investigation by the Daily Star highlighted their chaotic state. In the first story, we take a look at Dhaka Mahanagar General Hospital. Picture: star

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Dhaka South City Corporation has two hospitals and a Matri Sadan under its management. A recent investigation by the Daily Star highlighted their chaotic state. In the first story, we take a look at Dhaka Mahanagar General Hospital. Picture: star

It is unfortunate that a major hospital like Dhaka Mahanagar General Hospital, one of two hospitals run by the Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC), is struggling to provide essential services to the large number of patients who visit it every day. . Based in Old Dhaka, the public hospital is a major destination for local healthcare seekers and as such should be adequately staffed and equipped to handle the patient load with all sections functioning smoothly. But in reality, it lacks a third of the beds and suffers from an acute shortage of doctors, nurses and general staff. The shortage of beds is due to the fact that its surgery department has remained closed for the past six years. Considering the importance of a surgical ward in any hospital, one cannot help but wonder why a replacement could not be found for all these years.

According to our report, the 150-bed hospital is supposed to have 50 beds for medicine, 50 for gynecology and 50 for surgery. After the closure of the surgery department in 2015, following the departure of its referring doctor, it is now essentially a 100-bed establishment. His illness doesn’t end there, however. It was declared a dedicated Covid facility at the height of the pandemic, and the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) had donated a few intensive care beds in 2020 to meet growing demand. But the facility could not use those beds due to a shortage of doctors and other needed healthcare workers. Currently, nearly half of the hospital’s physician positions are vacant. This explains why patients seeking medical attention have to wait long hours before they can find a doctor.

It is quite surprising that, although the hospital authorities have sent several letters of requisition to the higher authorities for the manpower needed for the ICUs and HDUs, they have not received any concrete response so far. Hospital authorities admitted that due to the crisis of doctors and staff, they were unable to provide the services expected of them. Needless to say, the urgency to keep all departments functioning with the required number of doctors and healthcare workers has become more important as the country goes through the third wave of the pandemic.

The sordid images from a large hospital like the Dhaka Mahanagar General Hospital, run with taxpayers’ money, are not only unfortunate; it is also totally unacceptable. We hope that the competent authorities will take all necessary measures to equip the hospital sufficiently and improve its services without further delay, so that patients can obtain the necessary care in time.

Michelle J. Kelley