Bashundhara’s ‘vanished’ 2000-bed hospital was ‘too costly’ to keep running

Director General of the Health Services Professor ABM Khurshid Alam has slammed the media on recent reporting over scarcity of resources in the health sector, particularly dedicated Covid-19 hospitals.

While healthcare workers and employees of the healthcare sector are risking their lives to fight Covid-19, "some media" are shattering their morale through "illogical criticism," Khurshid Alam said Wednesday at a virtual press conference from the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).

2000-bed field hospital did not 'vanish'

About recent reports on the Bashundhara Field Hospital, set up as an isolation centre for 2000 patients at the height of the pandemic in 2020, the DG said: "Running the hospital cost more than Tk60 lakh per month. But it had only 15 to 20 patients.

"The hospital had 400-450 staff including doctors and nurses. Also, more than a thousand officers and employees, including security personnel, would work there," he said.

"As the hospital had a low number of patients, it became difficult to bear the cost. So, we had to shut the hospital down. We shifted the equipment from there to hospitals across the country."

Facilities expanded at DNCC's Covid-19 hospital

The DGHS chief also said the Covid-19 Hospital set up in a DNCC market premises in Mohakhali was also wrongly presented in the media, after it was expanded to add 900 general beds. The news was carried out without making any inquiry with the authorities on their plans, he alleged.

"Media reported that we were wasting public money to set up a hospital instead of improving the previous one. But we have a 200-bed ICU ward in the previous establishment of the DNCC Isolation Centre."

"And we have installed 900 more general beds on the nine floors with oxygen supply to each bed. It was not possible to accommodate everything in the previous set-up."

A visibly upset Khurshid said, "We have considered journalists as co-fighters from the beginning in the battle against Covid-19."

"But some criticisms, levelled against us, in the media are shattering our morale. Criticisms follow mistakes, but if someone misleads people through them without knowing or understanding or looking for details, we cannot be okay with that," Khurshid said.

"Doctors, nurses, health department, health ministry and employees of the healthcare sector have been working non-stop, risking their lives."

"Please do not confuse people and crush our morale; stand with us. We can be wrong, but if anyone brings the mistakes to our attention, we can correct ourselves," Khurshid said.

Source: United News of Bangladesh