Wait 78 minutes to see a DMCH doctor

Some 71 percent of the patients at the outpatient department (OPD) of the country's premiere healthcare centre Dhaka Medical College Hospital wait 78 minutes on average to see a doctor.

Published : 18 Oct 2006, 12:00 PM
Updated : 18 Oct 2006, 12:00 PM
Dhaka, Oct 19 (bdnews24.com) - Some 71 percent of the patients at the outpatient department (OPD) of the country's premiere healthcare centre Dhaka Medical College Hospital wait 78 minutes on average to see a doctor.
About 30 to 35 percent of the patients are not satisfied with the medicare they get there.
A diagnostic study conducted on the hospital by Transparency International, Bangladesh (TIB) revealed these alarming facts. TIB researchers Taslima Akhter and Shahidul Islam carried out the study, which was published at the Jatiya Press Club Thursday.
The study says 71 percent of the patients who came to the OPD on time (8:30am) did not find any doctor there. The doctors spend on average five minutes on a patient and 61 percent patients feel the doctors do not give enough attention to them.
Some 35 percent patients said the doctors or their office assistants advised them to see the doctors at private chamber. As much as 45 percent patients said representatives of drug companies were present when the doctor was seeing patients.
About 31 percent said they had to pay on average Tk 96 to the touts for getting medicare in the outdoor department. Forty percent patients expressed dissatisfaction at the medicare provided by the doctors.
The researchers found that on average Tk 115 63200 is wasted every year on food for the patients. The patients have to pay over Tk 40 lakh in bribes in hospital bed. The dishonest hospital employees take more than Tk 4 lakh from patients for admission form.
The study revealed that a doctor has to pay Tk 164000 in bribe for posting in the hospital.
Doctors refer 65 percent indoor patients and 50 percent outdoor patients to specific diagnostic centres for tests. Sixty-one percent of the patients who got their tests done at the hospital had to pay an extra Tk 140 on average for the service.
It revealed that some dishonest employees of the blood bank buy blood from professional donors at Tk 80 to 500 a bag and sell those to patients for Tk 400 to Tk 1000.
Some 65 percent of the patients under treatment at the hospital for 15 days on average only got medicines like paracetamol, oral saline, pain killers, vitamin, antacids and drugs for skin disease.
Some 60 percent take food supplied by the hospital authorities but 31 percent of them complained of poor food quality. They said the food smells foul, insects and stones are found in the food and same kind of food is supplied every day.
The researchers noted that expected level of enquiry into administrative irregularities was not possible because of lack of cooperation from the hospital authorities. No information about government purchase could be collected.
The researchers recommended compliant centre for patients, internal audit and monitoring team, transparency in appointment of food suppliers, freeing the hospital of touts, uniform and hanging identity cards for hospital employees and close-circuit cameras.
They also suggested appointment of an ombudsman for health sector who would give special attention to the hospital, enactment of 0laws ensuring people's right to all information about the hospital, increase in hospital infrastructure and number of beds, increase in allocation of medical equipment and honorarium of intern doctors.
They also suggested formation of a 'watchdog group' involving the civil society and freeing the union leaders from political influence.
TIB Chairperson Prof Muzaffar Ahmed chaired the function. TIB trustee and former adviser to a caretaker government M Hafizuddin Khan, Dr MA Mannan, MP and Chairman of Ganosasthya Kendro Dr Zafarullah Chowdhury also spoke on the occasion.
Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher