X-rays, ECG, ventilators and ICU equipment are extremely important at this time of the Covid pandemic. Patients with Covid symptoms need to have an initial x-ray to detect infection in the lungs. ICUs and ventilators are essential medical facilities. Keeping such equipment packed or in unused condition means depriving the patients of medical care.
The accelerator machine worth Tk 240 million sent to Khulna Medical College Hospital has been lying idle for 9 long years. No action was taken even after the news of this boxed device was published in 2016. The device is in the same condition, unopened.
According to Prothom Alo, the hospital authorities did not issue any requisition for the machine, nor did the health directorate send the device. Khulna Medical College Hospital does not have the infrastructure where it can be installed. There is no skilled manpower to operate it.
So who sent the device there and why? Where the hospital authorities do not get the desired equipment even after repeated requests, it is necessary to find out who has wasted state funds by providing this equipment worth Tk 240 million. BMA secretary general Ihteshamul Haque Chowdhury has rightly said that the hospital equipment remaining boxed is due to lack of accountability.
There are countless examples of buying medical equipment in government hospitals and leaving it in a boxed or in idle condition. Prothom Alo just revealed a fraction of the entire situation. Procurement in the health sector means commissions. Earlier we saw incidents of irregularities in the purchase of curtains and in coronavirus test scams. But no action has been taken against those of health directorate involved in these misappropriations.
We hope this does not happen again. There should be a proper and impartial investigation into every incident of hospital equipment being left in boxed condition. Action should be taken against those responsible otherwise, corruption and anarchy in the health sector will continue. Make everyone accountable, not just a couple of small fry.
This waste of public funds in the name of healthcare cannot continue.