Medicare, bank services leave people in the lurch in BarisalOur Correspondent . Barisal
Medicare facilities are being hampered in Barisal as unofficially the Eid-Puja holidays started last Friday and will continue at least till Saturday next.
Private hospitals, clinics, diagnostic centres in the city are now in holiday mood, almost suspending their services.
On the other hand, general people and businessmen, specially the hide and skin traders, will be sufferers owing to the closure of banks and regular disruption in ATM services during the holidays.
At Sher-e-Bangla Medical College Hospital, the biggest health service provider in the region, only a handful of physicians and staff are assigned for duty during the weeklong Eid-Puja holidays, leaving the patients to suffer severely.
More than 613 (74 per cent) out of 829 doctors and nurses of Barisal SBMCH have gone out of station on Eid vacation.
At least 182 out of 200 intern doctors, the main working forces of the hospital, 139 out of 175 registers, assistant registers, emergency, indoor and outdoor medical officers and 292 out of 454 staff nurses, of the hospital have started enjoying Eid -Puja vacation.
The rest 18 intern doctors, 39 registers, assistant registers, emergency, indoor and outdoor medical officers and 162 staff nurses, have been assigned to carry on duties during Eid vacation, said Dr Qamrul Islam Selim, deputy director of the SBMCH.
‘We cannot deny their right to leave on Eid-Puja festivals and doctors and nurses of other religions and city residents would be available for service,’ he said.
‘The upazila level clinics and hospitals have made some special but very limited arrangements to offer health services and usually refer the patients to the district and the divisional hospitals,’ acknowledged Dr ATM Mizanur Rahman, district civil surgeon.
Normally an average 1,200 patients take indoor treatments at this 500-bed hospital per day. But the number of patients during Eid holidays remains on average 600-700. On Monday, the number of admitted patients at SBMCH was 760, said Dr. Saidul Islam, assistant director at the SBMCH.
So shortage of manpower would not have much effect as pressure of patients also is also less during Eid-Puja vacation, and fewer doctors and nurses will be enough to manage the emergency cases, the hospital officials explained.
SBMCH authorities started to release a huge number of patients before long holidays, although they are not fully cured, to handle fewer patients during the vacation as most of the doctors and nurses usually on leave, said Anowar Zahid, health rights activist.
Meanwhile, after visiting different ATM booths of the both public and private banks, it was found that almost all ATM booths often remain out of cash or go out of network as responsible officials of the banks were not available.
Cattle hide and skin businessmen of the city would be facing difficulties with huge amount of cash from sales till the Eid-day and next few days, said Md Shahin, secretary of the hide and skin association.
General manager Bangladesh Bank Barisal Branch said all public and private banks were asked to take necessary steps for deposit and withdrawal of cashes of cattle hide and skin traders and ensure undisrupted ATM and mobile banking facilities to tackle the Eid-Puja rush.
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