Inoperative generators in Barisal hospitals worsen patients' woes
Monday, 28 January 2008

Our Correspondents

Generators in Sher-e-Bangla Medical College Hospital, Sadar Hospital and all the upazila health complexes in Barisal have been remaining either out of order or unutilised for a long time adding to the woes of the patients.

Non-allocation of budget for fuel is leaving the generators unutilised while the same reason prompts the authorities not to repair the out of order ones, sources in the hospital said.

Emergency treatments of the patients, including pregnant women and surgery patients, are given almost everyday under candle-lights during severe load shedding in the region.

There are 11 public hospitals in Barisal district, including nine upazila health complexes at upazila headquarters, and Sadar hospital and Sher-e-Bangla Medical College Hospital in the divisional headquarters, Barisal divisional health directorate office sources said.

All of these health complexes and hospitals have power generator units purchased at a huge cost for emergency power supply, he said. Barisal SBMCH has been in possession of two heavy power generators of 125KV and 75KV since its inauguration in 1968.

Operation of these two generators depends on supply of fuel from the Power Development Board, the supply of which is never regular, sources in the hospital said.

Therefore, SBMCH authorities have tried to manage the cost for operating the generators from their miscellaneous funds. One more heavy power generator of 250 KV was supplied to SBMCH in 1999, which is yet to function for a single day because of mechanical flaws and fuel crisis.

In 2004, Barisal Sadar hospital in the city was provided with a powerful generator, but it cannot function regularly due to fuel budget constraints. Nine upazila health complex hospitals of the district, including Gournadi, Agailjhara, Wazirpur, Babuganj, Hijla, Muladi, Mehendiganj, Bakerganj and Banaripara health complexes, have been possessing generators since 1990.

These power generators in 11 hospitals of the district are not being used due to fuel crisis for lack of or insufficient budget allocations. Most of these generators have become dysfunctional for remaining unutilised for a long time. Load shedding and disruption of power supply have become a common phenomenon now, said officials of the divisional health directorate and upazila health complexes, adding in this situation regular activation of emergency power supply generators is needed almost every day to ensure proper treatment of the patients of public hospitals, belonging to lower income groups.

About the out of order generators, number of which is very few, sources in the hospitals concerned said the authorities found no interest in repairing the generators as they would come of no use due to fund constraint to buy fuel.

If these generators remain idle for more days these will turn into junk permanently, they cautioned.

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