Rajshahi City Hospital, one of the few large hospitals in the city with modern facilities, has resumed providing health care after being closed for almost two and a half years.
Rajshahi City Corporation Mayor AHM Khairujzaman Liton inaugurated the resumption of health care at the hospital as the chief guest at a programme on Thursday.
In his speech, the mayor said Rajshahi City Corporation is in a noteworthy position with regard to health care in the country. It became the best hospital in the country 10 consecutive times for its EPI (Expanded Programme on Immunisation) activities. The corporation aims to further upgrade the hospital's health care provisioning.
Doctors, pharmacists and medical technicians have already been appointed to improve the medical system. If necessary, more doctors and other staff will be appointed and the city hospital is expected to play an important role in the health care of the poor and needy, the mayor said.
Khairujzaman also said a proposal for a Tk155 crore project has been submitted to the Ministry of Social Welfare to widen the road adjacent to the hospital and to turn it into a full-fledged medical college and hospital.
Earlier, in July 2019, the city corporation leased the hospital to Celltron. In March 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic hit the country, the corporation planned to make the hospital a Covid-19 dedicated hospital and asked Celltron to halt its operations.
However, after remaining closed for three months, the city corporation asked the company to restart operations as other hospitals had been selected to treat Covid-19 patients, but the company did not reopen the hospital citing huge losses. The hospital has been closed since then. As a result, 65 people, including four medical officers, six nurses, lab technicians, ultrasonographers, and dentists, lost their jobs.
The Business Standard published a report on the hospital, "Rajshahi City Hospital closed for over a year amid pandemic" on 3 August 2021.
At that time, Sheikh Mohammad Fauzul Mubin, managing director of Celltron, said, "In the three months of closure at the beginning of the pandemic we incurred a loss of Tk36 lakh. Moreover, the condition of the road adjacent to the hospital is so bad that no reputed doctor wants to come here.
Most of the hospital's patients are pregnant women who also find it difficult to come to the hospital because of the dilapidated roads. The city corporation promised to renovate the road but they did not do it, he had added.
Fauzul Mubin said the hospital was leased from the city corporation for three years. They had renovated the entire hospital after taking it on lease, and had purchased and installed modern equipment spending Tk3 crore.
Rajshahi City Corporation Chief Health Officer, FAM Anjuman Ara Begum, said usually around 10 patients were admitted to the hospital and 60-70 patients underwent outdoor treatment every day when it was operational.