The hospital, which serves more than 2 million people of Faridpur and neighbouring districts, only has 10 functional intensive care units (ICUs)
With Covid-19 cases and fatalities rapidly surging across the country at an alarming rate every day, authorities of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical College (BSMMC) in Faridpur have found six of its16 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds inoperative, depicting a grim picture of poor preparedness.
According to sources, the 250-bed hospital has recently been upgraded to a 517-bed treatment facility. At the same time, it has been promoted to a medical college. Many critical patients come here for treatment from the nine upazilas of the district and even from neighbouring districts. However, hospital authorities still have to refer them to Dhaka due to the lack of ICUs.
The isolation unit at BSMMC is the only medical centre dedicated to treating Covid-19 in the district and adjoining districts of Madaripur and Shariatpur. The unit began its journey recently, promising to have 517 beds.
As the country battles the second wave of infections, doctors and health workers are struggling to treat an increasing number of patients.
The specialised unit has only nine doctors. There are 16 ICUs, but no specialists to manage those. The effectiveness of the intensive care units has been questioned by patients due to the lack of experienced and trained nurses to tend to those patients.
Zuthika Biswas, a nurse of the ICU beds of the unit, said: "It is impossible to manage the ICUs with a small number of staff members. We are trying our best and giving importance to work before any personal problems. However, that is not a solution. There is no substitute for sufficient manpower to run the hospital."
Ananta Kumar Biswas, in-charge of the isolation unit, said: "Twenty-four doctors should be on duty. But now there are only nine doctors working, and there are more patients than before. It is impossible to run a hospital with a shortage of staff. We have told the authorities about the urgent need for manpower but did not receive any help."
Dr Saiful Islam, director of the hospital, said around two million people of Faridpur and the people of adjoining districts including Madaripur and Shariatpur come to the hospital for treatment. However, there is a lack of sufficient staff members and equipment to treat the large number of patients.
Of the 16 ICUs, only 10 are currently operating and six others have remained non-functional for long, he added.
A letter has been sent to the Health Ministry demanding more ICUs and manpower, he also said.
According to media reports, the government has recently changed the names of Faridpur Medical College and Faridpur Medical College Hospital (FMCH) to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical College and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical College Hospital.
The hospitals have been renamed after the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.