Elderly people and patients, who have comorbidities, are being forced to travel for treatment
Over 350 posts for doctors and nurses have been lying vacant in Nilphamari district.
This has added to the miseries of those seeking medical care amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
A total of 383 posts – 131 for doctors and 252 for nurses – have remained vacant for quite a while in the district’s six upazilas, reports Bangla Tribune.
Elderly people, patients who have comorbidities, and their family members are forced to travel to the divisional city for treatment.
They have to spend extra money to avail themselves of any of the necessary services there.
Farida Begum, who is undergoing treatment at the Nilphamari General Hospital, said it is very expensive to seek care outside the district.
Farida, who was admitted to hospital on August 8 with gallbladder complications, said: "The authorities have referred me to Rangpur Medical College Hospital as there is no doctor here.
“But it is very difficult for me to go there and get treatment.”
According to the district health department, only 95 and 110 are currently filled against the posts for 226 doctors and 362 nurses in the district.
As per official data, Nilphamari Sadar General Hospital has 18 doctors and 92 nurses, Syedpur 100-bed Hospital has 10 doctors and 56 nurses, Jaldhaka Upazila Health Complex 15 doctors and 27 nurses, Kishoreganj Upazila Health Complex has 14 doctors and 23 nurses, Domar 50-bed Hospital has 20 doctors and 28 nurses and Dimla Upazila Health Complex has 18 doctors and 26 nurses.
Meanwhile, these hospitals and health complexes also lack essential medical services such as pathology, X-ray, and ultrasonography among other things due to which patients from different upazilas are being deprived of proper diagnosis.
Upazila Health and Family Planning Officer Dr Abu Shafi Mahmud said: “A total 14 doctors at the Dimla Upazila Health Complex are attending around 300 patients every day on an average. People are being deprived of healthcare facilities due to the shortage of doctors and nurses here.”
Mezbahul Hasan Chowdhury, assistant director (caretaker) of Nilphamari Sadar General Hospital, echoed Dr Shafi.
He said: “The cardiography department of our hospital has remained suspended since 2016 due to the shortage of doctors. The posts of resident medical officer, resident physician, resident specialist, registrar, assistant registrar, and assistant surgeon are also vacant. This is hampering our efforts to provide necessary care to our patients.”