Medical equipment worth lakhs are going to waste
Three 20-bed hospitals in Bogra’s Adamdighi, Nandigram and Shibganj upazilas, which cost over Tk10 crores to build, are yet to become fully operational even after 15 years, with medical equipment worth lakhs collecting dust.
These hospitals were inaugurated in Nandigram, Shibganj and Adamdighi’s Santahar in 2006 but since then no doctors or medical staffers have been appointed.
The district’s health department, which blames a shortage of manpower, still do not know when the hospitals will become operational.
Bogra’s Civil Surgeon Dr Gausul Azim Chowdhury said that the outpatient departments of the three hospitals are currently active. “We have asked [authorities concerned] for doctors and medical staffers. They [hospitals] will start operating when we have the required manpower.”
He claimed that the medical equipment, which is currently lying around boxed and intact in the nearby Upazila Health Complexes, will be fine but locals say otherwise.
According to the district’s Health Engineering Department office, the 20-bed hospital in Nandigram was built at a cost of Tk32,673,168, the one in Santahar, Adamdighi cost Tk33,342,488, and the one in Aliarhaat, Shibganj cost Tk43,200,000.
All three hospitals were inaugurated around the same time back in 2006.
All necessary equipment was delivered to the hospitals afterwards, but authorities concerned failed to kickoff their operations as no medical personnel or medicines were allocated in the past 15 years.
According to the civil surgeon’s office, in 2008, 18 positions including doctors and nurses were created for the Nandigram hospital, 11 for the Shibganj one and some for the Adamdighi one.
However, the lack of enough staffers led to the appointed personnel getting attached to the upazila health complexes.
Meanwhile, the abandoned premises, without any utilities and security, have become drug dens with locals saying that all the amenities inside are going to waste.
Former Nodigram municipality mayor Sushanta Kumar said at least 200,000 people of Kahalu and Nandigram upazilas could have received treatment without putting undue pressure on the local clinics if the 20-bed hospital was operational.
Meanwhile, the Shibganj hospital has one deputy assistant community health officer and a pharmacist who only provide patients with first aid.
However, with the completely inoperational hospital in Adamdighi, thousands of people have no choice but to either travel five kilometres to Naogaon Sadar Hospital or to the Amdighi Upazila Health Complex eight kilometres away for any medical treatment.
Locals have urged the authorities concerned to take immediate steps to make these three hospitals operational in order to reduce their sufferings.