Pay attention to public hospitals affiliated with medical colleges

04 January 2023

That Bangladesh's public health system is in tatters is no new news. It is more acute in rural areas than in urban places, in cities and towns, this is the general view. But when we see that the same situation persists in divisional cities as well as the capital we have good reasons to be worried.
According to a report yesterday, the very Chattogram Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) is failing to deliver treatment to patients with its limited number of workforce and inadequate logistics. In this hospital, there is a shortage of doctors, nurses and other third class and fourth class employees who are no less important than the hospital's core medical staff.
Starting with 500 beds, this hospital has completed 65 years of its journey and now it has 2200 beds. Surely this is a very large hospital, but even this large number of beds is not enough for patients in this lone tertiary-level hospital in the greater Chattogram region. With its only 343 doctors and 1,228 nursing staffers, this public health facility is virtually grappling with the ever-increasing number of patients.
Quoting CMCH sources, the report mentioned that the hospital serves at least 3,300 patients on average in a day, 1,100 more than the hospital's bed capacity. In the last five years though many new nurses have been recruited, no new doctors were added to the list.
Still, patients do not find drugs available in the pharmacy which is supposed to sell drugs at subsidized rates. One can sense corruption in this irregularity. The problem facing the CMCH is not unique to this public hospital alone. In many hospitals affiliated to public medical colleges, the condition is even worse.
Bangladesh government's budget for its health sector is not of international standard in terms of the country's GDP. Despite that every year it is found that even the smaller size of health fund sanctioned by the government is not spent at the year end. The fund remains unused.
It is a pity that patients here suffer untold sufferings because health authorities do not know how and where to spend money stopping corruption in the sector. This is the crux of the problem the country's health system is beset with like any other sector.                     

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