The centre run under the Directorate General of Family Planning has shockingly poor healthcare standards and less than friendly doctors and nurses, according to former patients and their relatives
People seeking affordable and reliable health services at the Kalabagan Mother and Child Health Care Centre in Rajshahi city are reportedly being deprived, neglected and outright harassed.
The centre run under the Directorate General of Family Planning has shockingly poor healthcare standards and less than friendly doctors and nurses, according to former patients and their relatives.
Expecting free and reliable healthcare, sufferers said when they admitted their patients they were met with very rude doctors and nurses. Moreover, the necessary medicines were not available and the one ambulance that was there was not fit for use. Only a handful of tests were done there. Most tests had to be done elsewhere, that too at specific diagnostic centres that doctors recommended. If done otherwise, patients were outright neglected, forcing them to leave. Patients also had to endure unwanted harassment if they did not buy the medicines that pharmaceutical representatives recommended to the doctors there.
Raju Ahmed, the relative of a patient at the health centre, said he worked as a day labourer and he had admitted his wife at the centre to avail affordable and reliable health services. “But what I saw there is the opposite of what I had expected. After the operation, no doctor or nurse came to see my wife. We had to go to a diagnostic centre that was recommended by the doctors for the required tests. We had to pay for medicines. We did not get transport facilities. Besides, doctors weren’t even there always.”
Dr Sharmin, officer in charge of the centre, said for a government healthcare centre, patients were relatively well taken care of there. “The health centre used to provide the necessary medicines for caesarean patients. But that service has not been available for the last two years. However, basic medicines are provided.”
When asked about the negligence and harassment faced by patients, she declined to comment and excused herself.
Nasim Akhtar, acting deputy director of Rajshahi Family Planning Office, speaking about the unusable ambulance, said: “The hospital wasn’t initially built to provide ambulance services and so there aren’t any parking spaces for it. The ambulance, brought here from Jaipur on special request, never had a permanent driver appointed for it. For some time a temporary driver drove the ambulance but now it lies obsolete.”
On the medicine shortage, he said the hospital had some government-supplied medicines, but there was a shortage owing to purchase-related issues. “The necessary medicines will arrive shortly.”
He added that due to the hospital’s limited testing facilities, there were tests that needed to be done from elsewhere. However, the hospital did not refer patients to any specific places for these tests.
He also added that if patients brought up any complaints, the authorities would investigate and take action. But so far they had not received any complaints.