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DMCH being prepared for corona treatment

Health experts strongly oppose the decision

Published : 07 May 2020 10:39 PM | Updated : 31 Aug 2020 01:18 PM

Amdadul Haque

The Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH), the biggest public general hospital of the country, would soon be dedicated for exclusive treatment of patients suffering from coronavirus infection.

Sources said that the decision has been informally taken recently which is yet to be formally announced.

It is worth mentioning that the adjoining unit-2 of burn unit at the DMCH is already being used for treatment of patients suffering from coronavirus infection. 

Many doctors and other healthcare experts expressed concerns about the treatment arrangements for other patients who are already under treatment. Besides, they said that over 60 percent of the patients are referred to DMCH from outside the capital for urgent treatment.

A healthcare expert said, “This is a wrong decision. Poor people are treated at DMCH. If ordinary patients do not get treatment at Dhaka Medical, then death will increase due to other diseases than coronavirus. Ordinary people will die even without treatment.”

Visiting the hospital, it was seen that general patients are leaving the hospital. Many are crying, where to go? How to treat? Most of the patients cannot afford to go to private hospitals for treatment. Although there is no comfort in DMCH, but they get good quality treatment.

On average about five thousand patients are admitted and treated at DMCH. In addition, about 10,000 people receive treatment every day in the emergency and outpatient departments. There is no treatment that is not available in Dhaka Medical. It is the most reliable hospital in the country since its establishment in 1965.

An estimated 150 operations are being done every day at the busiest hospital. Hundreds of kidney patients are on dialysis here. With constraints the hospital provides round the clock treatment for general casualties, cancer, heart, liver, open heart, kidney, bone marrow transplant, diabetes, neurosurgery, neurology, accidental casualties.

At a time when ordinary patients were not being treated at any other public or private hospital in coronavirus situation, this hospital was the only place dependable. Eighty percent of those treated here are poor and most are given free treatment.

However, the burn unit at Dhaka Medical College Hospital in the capital is already being used for treating Covid-19 patients amid the growing number of detections in the last couple of days.

Some DMCH doctors worry saying as people from all over the country visit the hospital on a daily basis its importance for general public cannot be ignored. A number of doctors at DMCH opposed the government decision saying DMCH is the premier hospital where patients from across the country come and rely on for treatment.

Another doctors suggested that the government should reconsider the decision and build new temporary hospitals or dedicate a separate hospital for covid-19 patients.

"The right plan is needed. The way coronavirus is being identified can lead to many more people being infected in the future. Over 90 percent of coronavirus patients can be saved only with oxygen. But we also have to think about ordinary patients. They need to have a place to be treated. 

The government may have chosen this hospital after considering everything. But surely the decision has not been taken in the interest of mass people,” said another physician of the hospital.

A doctor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University and Hospital (BSMMUH), preferring anonymity, said, "DMCH is like a mother. At least the basic care is ensured. The rich and the poor get treatment here. Besides, other hospitals do not have the capacity to treat so many patients.”

Director of Dhaka Medical College Hospital Brigadier General AKM Nasir Uddin told the media, "We have asked those who are being treated for the disease to go to a specialized hospital for those diseases. 

We will carry out the treatment activities as per the decision of the government. The government may have chosen this hospital for coronavirus treatment because of the treatment of all diseases available here.”

Experts say if the authorities had taken a proper plan, corona treatment could have been arranged avoiding DMCH. Now the crisis of ordinary patients will increase more.

Director General of the Directorate of Health Services, Professor Abul Kalam Azad told the media, "Dhaka Medical College Hospital had always played significant at the time of all kinds of disasters. 

It is true that ordinary poor patients take treatment here. But now a disaster is going on in the country. DMCH will be able to play an important role in this disaster. There are all kinds of treatments here. That is why this hospital has been chosen.”