Public Health And Ospital Condition-III
Mugda Gen Hospital lacks vital life saving facilities
Mugda 500-Bed General Hospital, housed in a 13-story building on 9.5 acres of land, is located at Mugdapara on the East of the capital Dhaka.
The hospital was opened in July 2013 and started admitting patients from early 2014.
It is the 4th government medical college hospital in Dhaka metropolitan city but lacks certain vital facilities available in the other three hospitals in the city.
Kohinur Akter, 21, was seen attending her husband Ibrahim, 30, on the floor of level eight (Medicine Department) of the hospital recently.
Talking to the Daily Observer, she shared her experience after her husband was admitted to the hospital with head injuries he sustained after he fell from a tree.
"My husband is sleeping on the floor since last week. We do not know if he will be allotted a bed any time soon. With the influx of patients in the hospital the chances seem bleak," said Kohinur, a house wife, who came from Barguna in Barishal district to look after her husband.
Kohinur brought a mat, a pillow and also some bed sheets for her husband to lie on the floor to receive treatment.
This is not a lone story. Like Kohinur, at least two hundred patients were lying on the floor in the Mugda General Hospital, which is a 500 bed- facility.
The majority of the patients who throng Mugda General Hospital belong to the middle and lower middle classes who cannot afford treatment at the city's many private hospitals.
A good number of
patients aged above 65 years, sufferings from multiple chronic diseases, were too lying on the floor waiting for their turn to be allocated beds.
About 2,500 patients, suffering from various diseases such as diarrhoea, cough, asthma, jaundice and other contagious diseases, visit the outdoor departments almost every day.
However, the Outdoor of the hospital is not open 24 hours a day. It is open from 8:00am to l:00 pm, although the emergency department remains open round the clock but often over crowded.
According to the hospital staff the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) has only 10 beds available, which is not adequate to meet the demand of the serious patients.
Tariqul Islam, a Ward Master, said at least 20 ICU beds should be made available to meet the demand of the serious patients.
The number of elderly patients is also coming to the hospital to take treatment as they are suffering from various old age complications like hypertension, diabetes, heart conditions, dementia, infections and joint pains that need special care.
Asked if they have taken any special care, Sayed Md Sadiqul Salim, Director of the hospital said that they are actively considering the issue and hopefully will introduce some facilities for the elderly patients very soon.
Ward Master, Nasir Uddin Saimun, said that there is no Neonatal, Intensive Care Unit (NICU) to provide life support to 0-12 year children in the hospital.
"We have to transfer the premature babies by ambulance to Dhaka Medical Collage Hospital or other private hospitals due to lack of NICU beds, which is very risky as sometimes it causes death to the infant," he said.
Prof Dr Md Jahangir Hossain Bhuiyan said that the existing number of beds for the patients is inadequate to meet the regular demands of the patients.
"The number of beds in the hospital is only 500, although we receive more than two thousand patients every day. So how can we provide bed to every patient," he questioned. "We face problems to deal with this immense number of patients every day, but we are doing our best," he said.
Some administrative officials of the hospital on condition of anonymity said that the dearth of doctors is also a big problem.
The hospital has specialists in eight departments-medicine, child and autism, surgery, gynaecology, dermatology, cardiology, ophthalmology and ENT (eye, nose and throat).
Dr Abdul Matin, said that the main concern in today's Bangladesh is the absence of skilled health workforce and there is no indication that efforts are being made to develop a skilled workforce.
This correspondent also found a good number of brokers active in exploiting the situation by extorting money from poor patients, promising them beds in return.
This correspondent found an elderly patient from Sylhet lying on the corridor behind the outdoor department waiting for a broker to get him a bed.
The patient, in his mid-sixties, said that he had been waiting there for two days since someone promised to get him admitted. The miscreant had even taken away the man's prescription from the outdoor department.
To prevent such exploitation the hospital authority has taken no steps other than to put up posters saying 'Beware of Brokers' on the hospital walls to tackle the situation.