Dhaka, Jan 3 (UNB) – Many think public universities are meant for only providing education. Not exactly! These days, students come up with their basic health needs and university medical centres are supposed to address those.
A few days back, a female student of Dhaka University shared in social media what she experienced at the institution’s medical centre. She recently visited the facility thrice with an eye problem but was denied treatment every time, she alleged.
Her Facebook post mostly drew negative and angry comments, lambasting the poor treatment at DU’s lone medical treatment facility, set up in 1922.
Thirty-six doctors, including six part-timers and six homeopaths, are there to treat more than 39,000 students, 2,012 teachers, over 4,000 staff and their families. The centre only has 30 beds and four ambulances.
It does not have a separate ward for female patients.
Over 400 patients visit the centre every day but many complain about poor services and the absence of physicians.
Students alleged that the centre advised them to get treated at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) – even for common diseases or minor injuries – most of the time.
Dr Sarawer Jahan Muktafi, the chief medical officer (acting) of the centre, turned down the allegations. “We’re always trying our best to serve the patients despite our limitations,” he said.
Staff at the medical centre claimed that 140,320 people were treated at the centre in 2016-17 fiscal.
A source at the university said the medical centre was supposed to provide free medicines for some common diseases but most of the time, it offers only painkillers and Napa.
The facility is also supposed to supply fresh bed sheets and mosquito nets to patients but it rarely does, the source said. More worrying is that its toilets are not cleaned regularly.
DU Proctor Prof AKM Golam Rabbani said they are expanding the medical centre and would hire more people. “We can open the extension after a few months. That will solve the problems,” he hoped.
But those assurances are hardly enough to pacify the disgruntled students.
“The physicians and staff are not friendly and doctors remain absent most of the time,” said Shimul Shahriar, an MA student. “They don’t take us seriously even if we suffer from serious illnesses.”
“They offer us painkillers or Napa and tell us to go to the DMCH or other hospitals for treatment. This medical centre is good for nothing,” he said.