The unit has been suffering from an acute lack of doctors,beds, and medicines
The Burn and Plastic Surgery Unit of Khulna Medical College Hospital (KMCH) is struggling to provide quality services to the patients as the unit has been suffering from a lack of sufficient beds, doctors, and even medicines for some time now.
The unit was inaugurated in 2014 with 20 beds on the sixth floor of the hospital. However, facilities remain unchanged even after almost six years of its inception, according to the hospital sources.
Currently around 90 patients with burn injuries are admitted in the unit, which exceeds the unit’s capacity, forcing patients to find a place on the floor and corridors of the unit for treatment.
The department is also in want of adequate specialist doctors. Only one doctor is employed against four vacant posts; consequently, the doctors face severe difficulties while tending to the large number of patients.
Moreover, the scarcity of medicines has increased the patients' problems manifold.
On a recent visit, our correspondent found patients saddened and frustrated by the poor state of affairs of the unit.
Three-wheeler driver Sohag, who suffered burn injuries on the lower part of his body when his vehicle's oil tanker caught fire, said he came here 15 days ago. However, his injuries did not heal much as he did not get proper medicines or regular dressing of his wounds.
Rekha said her nine-year-old child Faria had burnt her body while trying to seek warmth from a bonfire on January 28. After admitting Faria in the unit, Rekha found that there is hardly any doctor present. "Nurses are taking care of everything," Rekha lamented.
Senior Staff Nurse Nowrin Sultana at the unit acknowledged the problems, saying the number of patients are increasing day by day, but the unit’s capacity, on-duty doctors, and supply of medicines have remained unchanged.
"Patients with burn injuries should be kept in dry places to balance body temperature. But, many patients are lying on the floor of the unit." she added.
Dr Md Tariqul Islam, assistant professor and head of the Burn and Plastic Surgery Unit of the hospital, said: "We initiated the unit with 20 beds. The number of patients is four times higher than the capacity. Only one doctor is treating 80 patients in the unit, which is hampering the services."
When contacted, KMCH Superintendent Dr ATM Monjur Morshed said: "The burn unit of the hospital has been facing an acute crisis of doctors. At least seven doctors should have been deployed here for better treatment."
He further stated they have sent letters to the health ministry several times asking for doctors, but to no avail. He urged the authorities to ensure the smooth supply of medicines to the hospital.