National, Front Page

Emergency healthcare in dire straits

Published : 06 Jul 2020 10:18 PM | Updated : 05 Sep 2020 06:52 PM

Emergency health services of the most of the government hospitals are now on the brink of collapse as the extreme challenges being faced by the health facilities have been exacerbated by the surge of coronavirus patients.

The number of patients affected with other diseases is no less than the coronavirus-affected people, and the non-COVID patients are allegedly not getting treatment, even after going from one hospital to other. Non-COVID patients are being deprived of emergency medical treatment in the hospitals that have been viewed as underfunded and fragile.

Many patients are dying in the running ambulances, while some others are dying in front of the emergency departments of the hospitals across the country.

General patients are still being refused to provide treatment, if they fail to provide negative result of COVID-19 test. On the other hand, due to complexities of COVID-19 test, emergency patients are being deprived of medical treatment, which is a basic fundamental right.

As a result, numbers of patients in the emergency departments are decreasing day by day. In some hospitals, the numbers have been reduced by two-thirds. Nowadays, people are not going to the hospitals, if they are not seriously ill. In most of the cases, patients are taking telemedicine services.

During normal times, around 1,200 patients visit the emergency department of Dhaka Medical College Hospital every day for medical treatment. But the number is now around 600 only. At Shaheed Suhrawardy Medical College and Hospital, Sir Salimullah Medical College and Hospital and Mugda General Hospital, in average around 500 patients were given emergency medical services. But due to the outbreak of COVID-19, this number has come down to two-thirds.

Considering such a situation, health experts have emphasized on restoring patient’s confidence of getting medical treatment in the emergency departments of all hospitals of the country. They suggested creating such an atmosphere so that no patients are forced to return without getting treatment.

Former chief scientific officer of the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), Mushtaq Hossain said, the number of patients in the emergency departments of the hospitals has been decreasing.

There are two main reasons – first of all, health staffs are not able to pay proper attention to other patients as they are dealing with COVID-19 patients.

Other reason is, patients are not coming to the hospitals unless they are seriously ill due to the fear of COVID-19 infections.
He said, even during the epidemic, the people concerned should pay due attention so that the common people are not deprived of medical treatment.