A 100-bed facility only on paper

Dhaka Mahanagar Shishu Hospital is facing a crisis

Excluding the 40 beds allocated to the hospital’s inactive surgical department, the facility operated by the DSCC is effectively reduced to just 60 beds. But the condition of these beds is appalling, as most of them are either worn out or lack even the most basic bedding, like sheets and blankets. PHOTO: STAR

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Excluding the 40 beds allocated to the hospital’s inactive surgical department, the facility operated by the DSCC is effectively reduced to just 60 beds. But the condition of these beds is appalling, as most of them are either worn out or lack even the most basic bedding, like sheets and blankets. PHOTO: STAR

Dhaka South City Corporation has two hospitals and one Matri Sadan under its management. Recent investigations by The Daily Star have brought to light her chaotic state. In today’s second report we take a look at the DHAKA MAHANAGAR SHISHU HOSPITAL.

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Even if it’s afternoon, you can hardly see anything inside. Many beds are worn out, others have no blankets.

The condition of the yellowish building does not look any better from the outside either. The paint is peeling off and moss has also started to take root, which is surprising for a building that was only constructed in the 1990s.

This is the current status of the 100-bed Dhaka Mahanagar Shishu Hospital operated by Dhaka City South Corporation. This four storey hospital is located on Lalbagh’s Goura Sundar Roy Lane.

The surgical department of the hospital has been closed for 13 years. As a result, 40 of the hospital’s 100 beds are also unavailable. The condition of the other 60 beds is also not very good, so the hospital is only a 100-bed facility on paper.

According to the DSCC Ministry of Health, 2,005 outpatients were treated in the hospital in fiscal year 2020-21. 678 patients were cared for indoors, 442 in an emergency. Since the surgical department is closed, not even a small operation has taken place during this time.

The emergency room and outpatient clinic are located on the first floor of the building. In order to take advantage of medical care at reasonable prices, people from the lower income segment crowd every day. As the hospital is also a Covid-19 vaccination centre, there is additional visitor pressure.

Among them, Al-Amin Mia came here from Chawkbazar. He told this correspondent that he was there with his six-year-old child.

“I’m a delivery truck puller by trade. My son has had a fever for two days. I can’t afford to take him to more expensive hospitals, that’s why I came here,” he said.

The same was repeated by Asma Khatun, a Lalbagh resident who came to the hospital with her daughter Parul. “It’s a lot cheaper here. For those of us who live from day to day, this is the only place we can afford.”

Meanwhile, the hospital’s pediatric surgery has been closed since 2008. According to hospital sources, this is due to the lack of a surgical specialist, which is why the department remains closed even after an operating room.

In addition, this means that the approximately 40 beds in this department are not accessible to patients either.

There is a 40-bed ward on the second floor of the hospital, but the entire space is dirty. Almost half of the beds, most of which were in a state of disrepair, had no patients. Even the bedspreads stank of dirt, while moss could be seen on the walls of the station.

A hospital worker told this correspondent that whenever it rains, water seeps through the walls into the ward.

Meanwhile, there is also a crisis of doctors in the hospital.

According to the hospital’s organizational chart, the 100-bed hospital is said to have 22 doctors. But besides the doctors, the hospital currently has 16. There is another doctor who comes here once a week to see patients.

A hospital official, wishing for anonymity, said although he had written to the DSCC authorities to resolve the crisis, they still had steps to take.

DSCC’s Chief Health Officer, Dr. Fazle Shamsul Kabir, was contacted and said: “We have a shortage of doctors in the hospital.

“Recruitment is currently underway… we are in the final stages of hiring nurses who have joined the hospital,” he said.

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