Obaidur Masum, Senior Correspondent, bdnews24.com
Published: 2020-09-17 03:40:54 BdST
As many as 11,165 beds out of 14,275 in the COVID-19 hospitals were without patient on Wednesday. The rate was a little over 68 percent by the end of June.
The Directorate General of Health Services in a letter dated Aug 27 told Health Secretary Md Abdul Mannan that the COVID-19 services at the 12 hospitals need to be discontinued as the number of patients in the facilities was dropping.
The hospitals include five in Dhaka, six in Chattogram and one in Sylhet.
They are Holy Family Red Crescent Hospital, Dhaka Mohanagar Hospital, Infectious Diseases Hospital, Lalkuthi Hospital and Bashundhara COVID-19 Hospital in Dhaka; BITIT, Holy Crescent Hospital, Railway Hospital, Bangabandhu Memorial Hospital, Bhatiari Field Hospital and Corona Isolation Centre in Chattogram; and MAG Osmani Medical College Hospital in Sylhet.
The government had cancelled the contract with Dhaka’s Holy Family Hospital while it has ordered an end to the services at Lalkuthi Hospital and Dhaka Mohanagar Hospital and partial closure of Bashundhara COVID-19 Hospital on Wednesday.
The government signed contracts with different hospitals for the treatment of COVID-19 patients after the outbreak began in Bangladesh in March.
Though the government is paying the cost of treatment in these facilities, the number of patients has been very low.
“The equipment and staffing in these hospitals have remained unused,” said Professor ABM Khurshid Alam, the director general of health services.
The DGHS will now act on the issue following the ministry’s instructions, he said.
“We will redistribute the manpower and equipment of these hospitals,” Prof Khurshid said.
“But we will need to keep some hospitals ready [for COVID-19 patients] because we don’t know what might happen in future. The government hospitals will continue the services,” he added.
Health Minister Zahid Maleque said the ministry was working on the issue, but it would take some time to halt services in all 12 hospitals because they still had some patients.
The ministry has instructed the government hospitals dedicated for coronavirus patients to gradually resume services for non-COVID-19 patients, he added.