When a cancer hospital needs treatment

 For the past 18 months, Munni Begum has been making regular visits to the National Institute of Cancer Research and Hospital (NICRH) with her son. Seven-year-old Siam has cancer, but Munni says they both feel distressed on every visit to the government-run facility in Mohakhali. “Every single section of this hospital is designed to make people suffer,” she told the Dhaka Tribune. “Middle-class families like us have to depend on government hospitals for treatment but for most of the tests, we have to go to other hospitals. This hospital does not have resources to diagnose diseases.” Most of the equipment for diagnosis at the country’s only specialised cancer hospital is out of order. During a visit to the hospital on July 30, the CT Scan and MRI room was found locked. A motorcycle was seen parked in front of it and wooden boxes and other storage material were piled up to block all access. Patients must go to other diagnostic centres of private hospitals for small tests. “The hospital does not have the facilities to run CT scan and MRI tests, forcing us to get the tests done at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University and Popular Diagnostic Centre,” Munni Begum said.“It is costly. Moreover, there’s the hassle of moving from one hospital to another with my little son.” Most tests, including CBC-CEC, are not done at NICRH. The blood bank is closed after 2pm, while poor management and a lack of equipment force patients to wait for months for chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Read More

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