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Dhaka Tribune

Doctors, nurses draw salaries despite being absent in Islampur

  • Patients suffer due to a shortage of doctors
  • A group of middlemen active who are harassing innocent patients every day
  • 33 posts available for consultants and medical officers
  • Only eight medical officers and six consultants currently posted
Update : 30 Apr 2024, 09:00 AM

Islampur Upazila of Jamalpur consists of 12 union parishads and one municipality. It is situated on the banks of Jamuna and Brahmaputra. The population of the upazila is around 500,000 and the 50-bed Islampur Upazila Health Complex is the lone healthcare facility in the entire upazila. There are allegations that staff members at the healthcare facility remain absent and still draw salaries.

However, patients seeking services at the facility have to suffer due to a shortage of doctors. Many patients are sent to private clinics in nearby upazilas or cities by the doctors of the facility, patients alleged. There is also a group of middlemen active at the facilities who are harassing innocent patients every day. 

One of the senior nurses, Khan Md Golam Morshed, has been absent from work for over eight years. However, he is drawing salaries regularly. 

According to sources, there are 33 posts available for consultants and medical officers at the facility. But, there are only eight medical officers and six consultants currently posted at the hospital. As a result, there is a serious shortage of doctors at the facility. 

Alongside this, there are no doctors for the health complex's surgery, medicine, cardiology, dental and physiotherapy departments. 

People from nearly 50 villages, including Jigatola, Berkusha, Horindhora and Borul, come to the hospital on a daily basis to seek medical treatment. Although, there are community clinics and school-based treatment facilities in these areas—they remain closed most of the time due to various reasons. These people come to the Islampur Upazila Health Complex and are harassed by the middlemen. As a result, they are being forced to seek treatment at private clinics and hospitals in Jamalpur Sadar where they have to pay higher fees for the services. 

Local people alleged that some dishonest doctors are sending patients to other hospitals to earn some quick bucks. As a result, the treatment costs go up by multiple times and only a few people can afford such costly services. Many said that the doctors at the health complex prescribe unnecessary tests as well.

A visit to the facility recently, it was seen that the toilets of the facility were unclean and unusable. However, the condition of the admission counter is worse than the toilet. Patients and their relatives say that a healthy person would get sick if they stayed at the counter for a few minutes. 

There is a modern operation theater with expensive equipment at the health complex which has not been used for years due to lack of manpower.  There is no surgeon or anesthetist at the hospital. 

Upazila Health Officer Dr A A M Abu Taher said: “I have informed the higher authorities about the absence of nurses along with the shortage of doctors at the facility. I hope the problem will be resolved soon.”

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