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Specialised hospital for kids in Sylhet still a far cry

The establishment work of a specialised children’s hospital, which was formally inaugurated nearly 8 years ago, has not been completed yet despite immense sufferings of child patients in Sylhet region.

Sources said the authorities concerned have failed to implement the project after the formal inauguration of the 100-bed children’s hospital.

Due to lack of any specialised hospital in Sylhet region, child patients suffer much, local people said.

The patients of different districts in Sylhet have to depend on Sylhet MAG Osmani Medical College Hospital.

This is why they have to keep even four children on a bed during the pressure period.

The implementation of the proposed project remains hanging on the announcement only, officials say.

Addressing a rally in January 2014, the PM announced Dr Shaheed Shamsuddin Ahmed Sadar Hospital will be turned into a specialised children’s hospital.

Then, the premier formally inaugurated the facility on 21 January 2016 while addressing a rally at Madrasa Maidan in the city. It was set to be completed by 2019.

As Tk 100 crore was sanctioned initially, Tk 4 crore was spent on some reconstruction of floor tiles and others by the PWD, they added.

As things remained unimplemented for years, then Health Minister Zahid Malek during his visit to Sylhet on 2 February last year assured of immediate functioning of the hospital. But, it has not seen any light of development.

However, the hospital was used as the Covid dedicated hospital for about 2 years till late 2021. With improvements in the situation, it resumed general service in the outdoor and indoor departments in 2022.

When contacted, Md Mizanur Rahman, resident medical officer of Shaheed Dr Shamsuddin Ahmed Hospital, said, “We are somehow managing the hospital amid a serious staff shortage. We see no progress in establishing the long-awaited specialised children’s hospital here.”

“But, we attended a meeting in Dhaka a few months ago and submitted fresh organogram for the new facility,” he added.

Nure Alam Shamim, assistant director at the Divisional Health Director’s office, told this correspondent that there was yet no progress of the establishment of the hospital.

Brigadier General Mahbubur Rahman Bhuiyan, superintendent of the specialised children’s hospital, said, “We sent letters to the health ministry last month for the proposed facility’s approval, infrastructure development and for manpower organogram. Yet we see no progress.”

“We need it badly as the existing hospitals can’t cope with the increasing pressure from all over the division,” he added.