The Dental Unit of Chattogram Medical College Hospital (CMCH), the largest one in Chattogram division, are confronted with manifold problems.
The unit is yet to get full-fledged shape even after 30 years of its establishment.Though the number of patient is increasing gradually, the unit is providing treatment with inadequate number of physician, other medical staff and equipment.
The situation has been causing delay in receiving treatment while the dental treatment takes a lot of time.
Patients, who collected ticket in September last year, were found waiting at the unit till this month.
The huge number of patients leaves untold pressure on the insufficient number of doctors, nurses, staff members and medical equipment at the unit, said sources.
The unit was established in 1990 with four students and is now running with seven departments including department of Conservative and Endodontics, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Department of Prosthodontics in a six-storey building at the CMCH premises.
Around 500 dentists completed their degree from the Dental unit and first FCPS Degree holder among dentists in Bangladesh was the student of this unit, they said.Though college and clinic should be different from each other, both the establishments were set up in the same building.
Currently, only five doctors, five nurses and four technologists are working at the unit which gets some 100 to 150 patients in a day.
Officials said they require at least 20 doctors and nurses, 12 technologists, support staff and other technical facilities to provide treatments to the patients smoothly.
The Dental College teachers, intern doctors and trainees have to provide treatments to the patients due to the acute crisis of manpower.
Besides, there is 12-bed indoor facility at the department of Oral and Maxillofacial surgery where 20 to 30 patents are admitted for surgery related treatment.
Moreover, due to lack of permanent operation theatre (OT), it gets chance of using an OT a day per week at the CMCH. They can operate two to three patients against 20 to 25 at the OT.
In this situation, most of the patients have to wait for a month or more than it to have surgery facilities for oral health, said the sources.
On the other hand, the unit has insufficient beds and tools in every department and patients have to conduct some tests from outside.
Departments of Conservative, Surgery and Children have to take much pressure of patients with the limited resources.
While visiting the Dental unit on Monday, this correspondent found the departments crowded with patients.
Intern doctors were seen busy with providing treatments to the patients around 12:30pm.
Nasir Uddin, who came to the unit taking his wife, said they took the serial for treatment in September last year, but the authority could not finish it in this January.
“The treatment requires only a week in a private clinic. The treatment process is too much lengthy at the unit and it creates problems for the patients,” he said.
The authorities should address the crisis of the unit immediately for providing treatment to the patients smoothly, he added.
Not only clinical sector, the Dental College has also been experiencing the crisis of manpower and equipment.
Currently, it enrolls 60 students for under-graduate programme and three for post-graduation amid crisis of teachers.
Source said government has already declared to turn the Dental unit as full-fledged Dental College.
But, no initiative in this regard is visible, they said.
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery department Head Dr Md Azom Khan said they face acute problem to handle patients at the department.
“We need a permanent OT where patients can get the surgery facility everyday and without delay,” he said.
Dental unit Head Professor Dr Md Akram Parvej Chowdhury said they have limitations in the both academic and clinical sectors of the unit.
“We need more doctors, staff, beds and tools for the unit,” he said.
There is no alternative to turn the unit as Dental College in this divisional city, said the physician.
“A team led by the Joint Secretary of concerned ministry earlier visited the CMCH to justify the probability of establishing the dental college,” said Dr Akram.
“We proposed three acres of land adjacent to Goachhi Bagan for the college,” he said.
Current building of the Dental unit was constructed for academic purposes, he added.
CMCH Director Brigadier General Mohsen Uddin Ahmed said they will take initiative to provide a place for OT and other facilities, but establishing a Dental College is the responsibility of the ministry.
“Concerned ministry already gave permission for the College and we hope that it will be implemented in future,” he said.