The Burn and Plastic Surgery unit of Chattogram Medical College Hospital (CMCH), the largest hospital for people of Chattogram division, has been limping with manifold problems.
Thousands of patients from 11 districts under the division rushed to the hospital for treatment of different diseases every day.Huge number of patients leaves untold pressure on the insufficient number of seats, doctors, nurses, staffs and medical equipments at the hospital.
Burn and Plastic Surgery unit is one of the neglected units of the hospital and people of Teknaf to Cumilla depend for burn and surgery treatments on it.
Sources said established back in 2014, the 26-bed unit has to provide treatment to around 10,000 patients per year.
Currently, only six doctors without any professor, 19 nurses, four government staff and four outsourcing staff are working at the unit which gets 60 to 70 patients admitted in a day.
The number of patients rises to around 90 in the winter season.
Of the physicians, there are only two surgeons responsible for providing surgery related treatments to 1,000 patients, said sources.Besides, some 20 to 30 patients receive treatments at outdoor runs inside the congested unit on fifth floor of the hospital.
The unit also lacks Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and High Dependency Unit (HDU) for critical patients. Sources said many industrial zones, sea port, EPZs and shipyards are situated in Chattogram which is considered as commercial capital of the country.
The unit is the only place for treatment of the burnt patients from the industrial and other areas.
The unit Assistant Registrar Dr Liton Palit said they have to work with limitations amid pressure of patients everyday.
“We also have to shift critical patients to Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) or other hospitals due to not having ICU and HDU at our unit,” he said.
Amid the shortage of manpower and other facilities, the unit is providing its best service for the patients of fire burn, road accidents, gas cylinder explosion, acid victim and patients from other departments of the hospital, said the assistant registrar.
They also provide treatment to skin cancer patients, children with congenital defects, for aesthetic and cosmetics surgeries, he said.
He informed that there is no sufficient air-conditioning system which is very essential for a burn patient.
Patient Md Kaiser of the unit said he had been receiving treatment at the unit with accidental injury for the last one month.
The unit lacks different facilities and proper ventilation system is one of them, he said.
The unit Head Dr Rafiq Uddin Ahmed admitted the limitations and said it is yet to be turned as a full-pledged unit for burn patients.
“We have already requested the authority to ensure all the facilities and increase the beds and spaces of the unit for providing proper treatment to the patients,” he said.
Dr Rafiq also said they planned to introduce a new course on Burn and Plastic Surgery for developing specialised physician in future.
Mentionable, following the crisis at the unit, China government proposed to construct a 100-bed separate unit ensuring all of the facilities following a request of the Bangladesh government in 2016.
But, the project is yet to be implemented as CMCH authority didn’t provide a favourable space to them.
Dr Samanta Lal Sen, national coordinator at National Institute of Burn and Plastic Surgery of Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH), told the daily sun that he visited the CMCH burn unit with Chinese team for several times.
“CMCH authority ensured to provide favourable spaces to them in the early stage. But, they could not do this later,” he said.
CMCH Director Brigadier General Mohsen Uddin Ahmed said they have no sufficient space in the hospital to provide a separate one to Chinese authority.
They were offered to construct the unit in a multi-storied building with other projects of the hospitals.
“We will construct a 500-bed building, cancer unit, radiology and imaging department in a row to utilise the insufficient lands of the hospital,” he said.
The director also said they are concern about limitations of the unit and sent proposals to the concerned ministries to upgrade the unit by increasing beds, tools, spaces and manpower.