July 18, 2024, 2:59 pm

Siyam Hoque

2020-05-03 16:55:50 BdST

COVID patients suffer as some hospitals shut doors.


Both COVID and non-COVID patients are being deprived of necessary treatment as mismanagement in the designated public hospitals peaks.

Shortage of essential medical equipment is yet another big issue in this hospitals.

The situation has turned even worse as hundreds of doctors, nurses and support staff have so far tested corona-positive.

Allegations about mismanagement and deliberate neglect are more against some dedicated COVID-19 hospitals, including the state-run Kurmitola General Hospital.

It is also alleged that the relevant authorities have failed to prepare a number of hospitals to treat corona cases and conduct virus test for lack of proper planning, skilled manpower and overall mismanagement.

Unofficial sources said 46 doctors, seven nurses and 13 other support staff have been diagnosed with COVID-19 at Shaheed Suhrawardy Hospital, thus, seriously hampering its overall service delivery.

The government had earlier announced its decision to convert the 850-bed hospital into a dedicated COVID-19 treatment centre with corona testing facility.

However, the hospital has failed to serve a COVID-treatment facility. Nor it could offer corona detection tests.

Now with so much health workers diagnosed COVID-positive, the hospital has been failing to offer its normal services to general patients who visit the hospital in hundreds every day.

A total of 523 doctors have been found COVID-19 positive across the country to date.

Another major hospital--- the 500-bed Mugda General Hospital--- has also stopped receiving COVID patients since Wednesday as there is no space to treat anymore patients.

The dedicated hospital has thus suspended admission of patient there.

Talking to the FE, Mugda General Hospital COVID-19 Prevention Committee member Dr Mani Lal Aich Litu said they have already 275 patients.

The hospital has reached its maximum capacity, he added.

"The nature of the COVID hospital is different from others. All the spaces cannot be used," Dr Litu cited.

"Each bed has to be set up in three-foot distance with adequate light and air flow… This ultimately limits the number of beds."

Besides, medical supplies should match with the infrastructure, said Dr Litu, also head of ENT department of the hospital.

"We've a centralised oxygen supply system that can support 79 beds only. There are 20-25 oxygen cylinders in this hospital which is not enough."

"We're trying to increase medical supplies by sending requisition for another 200 cylinders which is necessary for COVID-19 patients," he continued. The physician further said that there are only 10 ICU beds in the hospital.

Expressing disappointment regarding sufferings of the COVID and non-COVID patients, Dr Litu said the hospital is now in a difficult situation.

It can be resolved only by providing COVID test reports at the shortest possible time and increasing the number of dedicated hospitals for suspected COVID cases.

He also suggested that the government find other spaces for treating such patients.

Foundation for Doctors' Safety, Rights and Responsibility joint secretary Dr Rahat Chowdhury said general activities at Suhrawardy Hospital have been hampered with 46 doctors, several other nurses and staffs being infected with virus.

The situation is likely to get worse, he told the FE.

On allegations of Kurmitola patients, Dr Chowdhury said such incidents do happen due to mismanagement.

The hospital's director, supervisor and management must increase monitoring of activities of on-duty doctors.

"The hospital director and the management must maintain discipline in every step of treatment and ensure standard service for COVID patients."

"They also should investigate the incidents regarding any negligence or misbehaviour on part of any staff or doctor…" Dr Chowdhury went on to say.

"Nowadays, doctors are being blamed for every mismanagement for not treating COVID or non-COVID patients. General patients don't know where they should go."

"The authorities must solve these problems soon," he suggested.

When asked, DGHS director general Prof Dr Abul Kalam Azad said the director of Suhrawardy Hospital could seek additional number of doctors, if necessary.

He, however, denied allegations regarding patient sufferings at Kurmitola Hospital.

The director of the hospital told the DG of DGHS that he had found nothing wrong while he had been on the round.

Dr Azad said the allegations made by attendants of the patients were not always true.

Dr Azad said it was not clear how so many doctors are getting infected as they are now provided with personal protective equipment (PPE).

Maybe there are some sub-standard PPE, but most of those are of good quality, he claimed.

If doctors remain cautious, they can prevent the spread of the virus by taking proper protective measures or by asking permission for quarantine from the authorities.

On Mugda Hospital's space constraints, Dr Azad said they have decided to dedicate the new building of Dhaka Medical College Hospital and one unit of Sheikh Hasina Burn and Plastic Surgery Institute for COVID treatment.

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