Emergency services like radiotherapy for the treatment of cancer patients have been closed for 18 days at Shaheed Ziaur Rahman Medical College (SZRMC) & Hospital in Bogura.
The authority concern confesses that the cancer patients are suffering much as this machine is not available in any other hospital in the country except Dhaka Cancer Hospital.
Doctors and staff of the hospital’s cancer division said that radiotherapy has been stopped since a device called a linear accelerator suddenly broke down on August 10. The device had broken down several times before.
Hospital authorities said that the National-Medical Equipment Maintenance Workshop and Training Center and Siemens, the manufacturer of the machine, have been informed to repair the faulty linear accelerator machine.
In the meantime, Siemens officials visited the hospital and inspected the machine to identify the possible cause of the malfunction. They will come back in a day or two and if the problem they identified caused the device to be unusable, it may be possible to repair it very quickly. But there may be further delay if there is any other reason.
The hospital has been inaugurated on 2006 with 500 beds to smooth the Medicare service of patients at Chlimpur area nearby Rangpur-Dhaka highway. Considering the pressure of patients from the different part of the country, administrative approval was given for the admission of 1,200 patients in that hospital in 2019.
But the reality is that more than 1500 patients are admitted there every day. Like other departments in that hospital, the number of patients in the cancer department is increasing day by day. Apart from Bogura, cancer patients from other northern districts also come to the hospital for treatment.
An attendant of a cancer patient from Dupchanchia area of the district said his mother is suffering from cancer. Radiotherapy should be given. But the machine was returned due to damage.
Associate Professor and Head of Cancer Department of SZRMCH Dr. Md Mobasher-ur-Rahman said that the linear accelerator machine, which is used to administer radiotherapy, suddenly became useless two weeks ago. The matter was immediately informed to the hospital administration, Dr added.
‘It has been possible to give radio therapy to more than 60 to maximum 80 people every day until the machine is operational. There was so much patient pressure that no serials were vacant until next November. But now it is not possible to give radio therapy because the machine is broken.
Deputy Director of SZRMCH and hospital Dr. Abdul Wadud said that the officials of Siemens, the manufacturer of the device, came to the hospital a few days ago and will come again today. If there is a technical fault that they initially suspect, it can be repaired quickly.