Joypurhat hospital struggles with patients exceeding capacity

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Our correspondent on a visit to the hospital on Sunday, saw the number of patients admitted was at least double the bed capacity

Joypurhat Modern District Hospital (JMDH) is struggling to provide sufficient treatment to the overwhelming number of patients, most of whom are being admitted with medical conditions due to the severe cold wave sweeping the nation.

Our correspondent on a visit to the hospital on Sunday, saw the number of patients admitted was at least double the bed capacity. 

Many patients have been accommodated on the floor inside the wards, and outside on the balcony. On duty doctors are struggling with the sudden onrush of patients with various cold related diseases.

This government hospital, established in 1998 in Joypurhat town, was  awarded as one of the top five hospitals of the country at the district level between 2011 and 2013.

Current struggles

According to JMDH sources, the hospital is crippled by many problems including a shortage of doctors, staff, and logistic support. Even though the hospital was upgraded to a 150 bed capacity in 2006, its human resource infrastructure is yet to be improved. The hospital has 20 doctors with posts for 45 doctors.

The hospital also lacks 10 senior and junior consultants for the separate departments, two resident medical officers, two anaesthesiologists, four emergency medical officers, and three medical officers.

Only one cleaner is currently appointed against four positions, for which the hospital struggles to maintain a healthy environment. 

A Continuing Crisis

On average, around 1,200 patients come to the hospital for treatment daily, said hospital sources.

Shahnur Islam was admitted to the hospital after a road accident. “With all the beds occupied, I had to make a bed on the floor. I had to get my X-Ray test done from another clinic, paying much more than I am able to afford. I have been here for a day now, but no doctor has come to see me yet,” he said.

Goulam Azam, another frustrated patient of the orthopaedic unit said: “My broken legs were plastered but no doctor came to check on me.”

Due to manpower constraints and funding, the health centre also lacks proper monitoring and maintenance.

Echoing the demands of patients, Nursing Supervisor of the hospital, Jashmin Hasnat, said: “We have to refer our critical patients to other hospitals as there is an acute shortage of specialist doctors.”

Way Forward

Acknowledging the situation, JMDH acting Director General, Mir Mubinul Islam hoped   the authorities will look into the matter promptly and said that the hospital was once renowned for its services, but the acute manpower shortage was tarnishing its image. 

Dr Zobaer Galib, district unit general secretary of the Bangladesh Medical Association, said: “We have already appointed some doctors who will soon join the hospital. I hope the hospital will return to its old glory.”