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11,000 beds lying vacant: DGHS

Health sectors` graft keeps patients away from hospitals

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Noman Mosharef :
A total of 11,078 beds for coronavirus patients are lying vacant in government hospitals although Bangladesh is hosting most number of active Covid-19 cases in Asia after India.
These hospitals have 15,600 general beds where 4,279 covid-19 patients being admitted and 10, 852 remain vacant across the country according to Professor Dr Nasima Sultana, Additional Director General (Administration) of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).
Besides, there are 532 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds in those hospitals and about 306 patients are admitted there while 226 beds are remain empty.
Professor Nasima Sultana said that 2,103 patients are admitted in the general beds of the hospitals of Dhaka city and there are 174 patients in ICU.
In Chittagong, 288 patients are admitted in general beds and 22 in ICUs. Besides, 1,888 patients are admitted in general beds in other hospitals of the country and 100 patients are admitted in ICU.
The temporary hospital built on an emergency basis in International Convention City Bashundhara was treating only 15 patients. It has the capacity to treat 2,013 patients.
On the other hand, in Rajarbagh Police Hospital 737 beds remain vacant; the hospital has 1,027 beds including general and ICU beds. There are 326 seats remain vacant in Dhaka Medical College Hospital and 368
in Impulse Hospital. Besides, 49 remain vacant in Impulse Hospital's 57 ICU beds.
No coronavirus patient has been admitted to Kamalapur Railway Hospital and Infectious Diseases Hospital in Mohakhali. These two hospitals have 40 general beds.
Contacted, Professor Dr. M. Muzaherul Huq, former Advisor of World Health Organisation (WHO) told The New Nation, "Firstly, patients have no trust on hospitals about getting proper medical treatment so that they stay away from those hospitals."
Secondly, he said, most of the infected persons know that it is better to stay isolated at home to get well soon.  
When contacted Professor Dr Nasima Sultana, Additional Director General of DGHS told The New Nation on Friday, "About 80 per cent of Covid patients do not need to go to hospitals as this number of patients have only some symptoms."
She said about three to five per cent Covid-19 patients fall in severe illness and those have to admitted in hospitals ICU beds. It is why the number of hospital beds are remaining blank, she added.
Dr. Sultana also said the have also arranged telemedicine services where they receive about one lakh to one and half a lakh telephone calls everyday.
Commenting on the issue, public health expert Dr Lenin Chowdhury said there are a host of factors behind the lower presence of patients in the government selected medicare centres across the country.
"The majority of the patients recovered staying at home while poor facilities and recent irregularities in the health sector might be discouraging people from getting the health-related services," he added.
Echoing the same, Dr. Rashid-e-Mahbub, former president of Bangladesh Medical Association (BMA) said the existing services and recent irregularities in some hospitals could have discouraged people about staying away from hospitals for treatment.

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