GOPALGANJ, Dec 05 (UNB): More than 300 patients are taking treatment inside dilapidated buildings of the Kotalipara Upazila Health Complex (UHC) every day amid risk of accidents.
Their suffering has worsened as surgeries have stopped taking place at the complex since last April, now over seven months, due to shortage of doctors, nurses and other necessary facilities, a good number of patients said.
A notice signed by the hospital authorities on the dilapidated second floor of the building warns that patients themselves are responsible for taking treatment there, said Jacqueline Runu Boddho, senior stuff nurse of the health complex.
On a spot visit, this correspondent of the news agency found a big portion of the ceiling on the second floor has become loosen and cracks have developed in various parts of buildings.
Patients, doctors and nurses have been injured by falling bits of the edifice at different times in the past. The parts are still standing at risk of collapse at any given moment.
The health complex building was built 40 years back. Although it has seen the number of beds in the hospital attached increase to 50 beds from 20 beds during this period, today only nine doctors are serving against the 22 doctors at the start. Nine doctors are responsible for the 350,000 people living in the upazila, a ratio of nearly 1:40,000, against 1:12,790 nationally.
A patient Billal Khandakar of Laxirpar village said the dilapidated condition of the hospital building was due to lack of maintenance and renovation for long.
"I am suffering from typhoid for last couple of days. If the loosened ceiling parts collapse on me, I will die," he feared. But he was compelled to get admitted here as he could not get skilled doctors in the other hospitals, he added.
Nasrin Begum of Chitrapra village recalled how pregnant women had benefited from the facilities, including caesarean section operations, at the health complex.
But those facilities have closed in the last seven months as there is no gynecologist and anesthetist in the health complex, she added.
Pankaj Adhakari of Dharbasail village and Poly Khanam of Mathbari village also praised the skilled and dedicated doctors of the complex for looking after the people.
At present, they are very worried about their admitted patients for dilapidated condition of the hospital, they added.
Upazila Health and Family Planning Officer Dr Premandrao Nath said the Engineering Department of the Health Ministry, a specialised department, declared the building 'abandoned' a long time ago.
"We do not want to admit patients due to the dilapidated condition of the building but they insist on getting admitted. We put up a notice in this connection," Dr Nath said.
Saying the number of patients they need to look at in such circumstances daily number between 300-400, the doctor also had some good news, revealing a new hospital building with modern facilities was set to be built within three months replacing the old complex. The plan for the new complex is complete, he said.
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