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Dhaka Tribune

Healthcare service in Naogaon hospital on the verge of collapsing

Only six physicians are providing treatment for around 250,000 residents in Patnitala upazila

Update : 03 May 2019, 10:50 PM

The healthcare services of Patnitala upazila health complex in Naogaon have drawn serious backlash from locals as only six physicians are providing treatment to around 250,000 residents of the upazila. 

The shortage of doctors has lowered the quality of overall healthcare services in the upazila hospital.  Caesarean sections—also known as C-sections or caesarean deliveries—have not been offered at the hospital for the last two years, causing problems for the pregnant women in need of them. 

Though the upazila hospital has won three national awards for its outstanding maternity service, the conditions have deteriorated since its win. In the meantime, the deprived and underprivileged patients are now being forced to look for alternatives and local clinic businessmen are profiting from the patients' misery.    

According to upazila health complex sources, the 50-bed healthcare complex has a total of 33 posts for health officials including health and family planning officers, junior consultants medicine, and others. 

Yet, only six physicians are employed by the complex.

The health complex launched maternity services in 2000 and received national recognition in 2005, 2008, and 2009 for outstanding services. 

Tahmina Begum, a resident of Gaganpur village of the upazila, said: “I am seven months pregnant and badly-off. I do not have the financial support to admit myself to a clinic if a caesarean delivery is needed.”

Aklima Begum of Ambati village has also expressed similar concerns about the lack of maternity services at the upazila health complex.

Altaf Hossain of Khirsin village said the concerns among local pregnant women are growing, and they are increasingly impatient as their due dates near because there is no gynecologist at the health complex. “We are seeking the attentiveness of the authority concerned to appoint a gynecologist and surgeon for to ensure safe delivery for mothers.”   

Deputy Assistant Community Medical Officer Dr Golam Rabbani said: “I perform duties in the emergency department, as well as in the outdoor department due to a shortage of physicians. It is stressful to provide services to additional patients every day.”

Dr Umme Hani, health and family planning officer of Patnitala health complex, said: “We are doing our best to provide better treatment with minimal manpower. However, if we had obstetricians and surgeons in the caesarean department, we would ensure top healthcare services in the upazila.” 

When asked, Naogaon District Civil Surgeon Dr Muminul Haque said: “I have informed the ministry about the ongoing physician crisis in Patnitala health complex. Hopefully the matter will be resolved soon.”

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