People have to go through surgery at private clinics and foot the bills by selling land
Manpower crisis is disrupting medical services at Aditmari, Patgram, Hatibandha and Kaliganj upazila health complexes in Lalmonirhat, forcing people to spend more money and undergo treatment at private hospitals.
Besides, their operation theatres have been shut for a long time due to the lack of skilled physicians. The poor people who come to government hospitals have to take treatment at private clinics at higher costs.
Sources said 31-bed Aditmari Upazila Health Complex was built for providing healthcare services to 300,000 people of eight unions in Aditmari upazila. Later, it was upgraded into a 50-bed hospital at a cost of Tk5 crore after the 9th parliamentary election.
But no doctors or staff members were recruited to provide services. The posts of five junior consultants have remained vacant since the hospital was built while that of surgeons and anaesthetists are also vacant.
This has led to the rusting of some costly medical equipment procured for the hospital.
Meanwhile, a medical officer skilled in surgery has recently been appointed but the lack of anaesthetists is forcing the hospital authorities to keep the operation theatre shut.
Sources at the hospital said all the five posts, including that of surgery, medicine, and gynaecologist, remained vacant and the patients who need surgery have to be referred to other hospitals.
Recently, the hospital appointed medical officer Dr Lutfunnahar to the surgery department but the services at its Operation Theatre remained suspended for lack of anaesthetists.
The hospital has sent letters to the ministry seeking recruitment of consultants.
Abdul Majid, a patient from Gobordhan area in the upazila, said there are no physicians. “They referred me to another hospital. Now I’ve to spend money and undergo surgery at a private hospital. So, why did the government build hospital spending so much money?”
As a result, even pregnant women have to go through surgery at private clinics and foot the bills by selling land.
Aziar Rahman, a resident of Baura village in Patgram upazila, said: “There’s no doctor at Patgram Upazila Health Complex and the authorities concerned have referred me to Lalmonirhat Sadar hospital but I’ve completed my operation at a private clinic spending Tk 7,000.”
Lalmonirhat Civil Surgeon Dr Normilendu Roy said the operation theatres of four upazila health complexes remained shut since the beginning although all the medical equipment are available at the hospitals.
“The services are hampered due to lack of doctors. Already, letters have been sent to the ministry concerned seeking appointment of physicians but to no avail.”