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Doctors’ crisis in virus fight deepens

Published : 24 Jun 2020 09:48 PM | Updated : 07 Sep 2020 02:11 AM

The Covid-19 pandemic crisis has deepened further across the country with most physicians, nurses and health assistants still reluctant to provide treatment to suspected cases.

Two thousand newly recruited doctors and five thousand nurses have been posted at the Covid-19-dedicated hospitals to deal with the pandemic. In the face of the scarcity, the government is going to appoint an additional 2000 physicians to continue the fight against the virus.

Health and Family Welfare Minister, Zahid Malek recently said, “All kinds of preparations have been made. The Department of Health is working on coordination. Hopefully, everything will come under control soon.”

The number of victims is increasing every day. The existing health professionals are not sufficient for the increasing Covid-19 patients.

On the other hand, after seven days of service, respective doctors, nurses, and other health professionals are going on 14 days of isolation as per the rules. Due to the rules not to be infected, and a shortage of such professionals, a doctor and a health worker have to work in two shifts to handle the alarming situation.

Experts said that the current situation requires about three times the number of doctors and health workers than the usual. But in reality, there is almost no treatment for corona patients at the Upazila-level hospitals due to a shortage of such professionals.
According to the Department of Health, corona patients are being treated at 15 hospitals and isolation centers in Dhaka. There are 2030 doctors, 2493 nurses, and 2229 other health workers in these hospitals.

These numbers of doctors, nurses, and other health professionals are inadequate in facing the present crisis. It is important to deploy more doctors and nurses to these hospitals to deal with Covid-19.

According to the Bangladesh Medical Association (BMA), so far, the number of affected doctors is 1126, nurses 972, and other health workers, 1493.

Moreover, a certain number of doctors, nurses, and health workers are being infected every day, and as a result, so is the pandemic situation.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a country should have three nurses for every one doctor. But in Bangladesh, this ratio is 1 0.56. Doctors say the hospitals need five times more nurses than they now do.

WHO information showed, for every 10,000 people, the number of doctors, nurses, and midwives is 24.1 percent in India, 14.6 percent in Pakistan, 6.7 percent in Nepal, and 6.06 percent in Bangladesh.

Doctors Foundation of Bangladesh coordinator, Dr Anupam Das said the number of health workers at Covid-dedicated hospitals needed to be increased from the very beginning. In these cases, it will not be possible to continue medical services without an adequate number of doctors.

According to official estimates, there are 341 ICU beds in Covid-19 hospitals across the country. Experts say the number of corona patients could exceed half a million in a few weeks.

ICU beds are much insufficient. The National Technical Advisory Committee on Corona Infection Prevention, Control, and Treatment has made specific recommendations in this regard.

The committee recommends the government appoint anesthesiologists. It said ICU facilities should be increased to serve Corona patients. There must be a free-flow ventilator facility for patients.