City’s luxurious hospitals Square, Apollo and United who earned millions dollar during last one decade from Bangladeshi middle class have turned down health care service fearing Corona Virus.
Over 600 physicians and 8,000 nurses and technicians of three posh hospitals along with a dozen premium service providing hospitals are lying idle in fear of the pandemic. The said hospitals are reportedly not receiving even normal patients fearing the diseases.
“Our physicians, nurses are not well equipped, they don’t have adequate training on newly spread contagious virus; so we are not totally prepared to attend corona virus infected patient,” The Customer Care Officer of the hospital, Golam Reza of Square Hospital told Business Mirror.
When asked whether any hospital can refrain from admitting any patient Reza said “ Our regular specialized cardiac, kidney and other patients are admitted at the hospital. How we bring danger for them,” He added.
Square Hospitals Limited is a tertiary care hospital with the leading contributor of private healthcare services in Bangladesh. It has 110 consultation rooms, 400 patient bed, 3,000 nurses and staff where it claims through its website that it brings qualified consultants from India, Singapore, USA, UK & quality hospitals in the Middle East as well as the nurses/technicians proficiently trained from Bangladesh, Australia, UK, India and The Philippines.
Apollo Hospitals Dhaka is serving with 337-bed multi super specialty facility poised to deliver advanced tertiary care health services of international standards to the people of Bangladesh. Started construction in 2001 and went into commercial operation in April 2005.
Since inception till today United Hospital claims it crosses 0.3 million cardiac patient, with cardiac investigations, 11,000 Heart Surgeries and 50,000 Cardiac Procedure.
Though United Hospital has a negative pressure room — a major feature for an isolation unit — she claimed that their infrastructure does not allow for treating Covid-19 cases at the hospital.
Isolation units at medical facilities must include features like a negative pressure room, a dedicated bathroom for each suspected patient and a separate ICU for the quarantine unit, virologists said.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare earlier asked both public and private hospitals to prepare isolation units to tackle the spread of Covid-19. Justifying the order to private medical facilities, the ministry said many affluent people prefer being treated at private clinics.
Last year, private clinics joined the government effort in combating the dengue outbreak. However, health experts and virologists said Covid-19 treatment is very different from mosquito-borne dengue. Frontline medical personnel will require special training and adequate personal protection equipment.
“Only the Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) has Covid-19 detection facilities in the country. How could we treat the patients if we cannot even diagnose the disease?” United Hospital’s Dr Shagufa Anwar said.
She said that United Hospital will only refer the patients to the IEDCR. The patient will take treatment at government facilities if tested positive.
Echoing the other hospitals, Health and Hope Hospital Chairman Lelin Chowdhury commented that coronavirus patients should not be treated at private clinics.
“No private hospital has the required virus testing kit, trained medical personnel or foolproof safety measures. A single coronavirus case at any private hospital will simply hit the panic button – prompting massive chaos,” he explained.
“Therefore, we want everything, including isolation and quarantine, at government medical facilities,” Lelin Chowdhury added.