Patients to pay for burn unit services in DMCHSajia Afrin
Sufferings of patients at the burn and plastic surgery unit at Dhaka Medical College Hospital further aggravated as they had to pay at every step for the service they need.
Even no dressing is done there without money. But this service is supposed to be given to the patients free of cost.
The patients at the unit alleged that they had to pay the man who conducts the dressing Tk 100 to Tk 3,000, depending on the severity of the injury.
Abul Bashar, a patient at the second floor at the unit, alleged that he had paid the man Tk 3,000 for each dressing since he was admitted to the unit.
‘Gradually they reduce the charge and for the last dressing I paid them Tk 1,000,’ Bashar said.
Bashar, who lived in the city’s Uttara, was electrocuted about a month ago and was primarily admitted to a private hospital there.
The upper portion of his body was severely burnt. After two days, he was referred to DMCH and there he was admitted 25 days ago.
Jahangir, another patient, came from the city’s Jurain and was admitted to the unit six days ago. His two ankles were burnt and he needed dressing every alternative day during his six days stay at the hospital.
‘We paid Tk 100 to Tk 200
per dressing,’ said Jahangir’s brother.
The patients also alleged that they had to buy most of the medicines, especially the ointment, from outside the hospital.
‘The hospital only gives him some painkiller,’ said Momtaj, mother of a patient admitted to the hospital. They had to buy ointment, which is essential for the burnt patient, from outside the hospital.
Besides, the extended 9-bed intensive care unit, which was opened on July 27 last, was running without sufficient manpower barring only one word boy and an Aya.
No doctor, nurse or even technician was appointed against the ICU unit, said the unit officials. The extended unit was run under the supervision of the old ICU staff, they said.
A limited number of equipments were allocated for the unit, they added.
‘We are seriously suffering from manpower crisis, especially nurse crisis,’ said Shamonta Lal Sen, national chief coordinator of Burn and plastic surgery unit and also physician at Burn unit at Dhaka Medical College Hospital.
He said the unit needed a good number of nurses to provide smooth services to the patients.
The unit staff said most of the 34 doctors out of 45 and half of the 30 nurses were working at the unit on deputation.
As the project was not transferred to the revenue budget, the salary of many staff was held up and that was why they try to collect money from the patients, it was learnt.
A proposal was sent to the heath ministry to convert the unit into revenue sector in 2011, but still the proposal was stuck at the prime minister’s office, said health ministry sources.
‘A meeting was held at the directorate general of health services office recently and we have discussed the proposal,’ said Sen. ‘We hope the problem will be solved soon.’
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