The government took an ambitious plan to double the capacity of Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) so that it can properly serve the thousands of patients who seek treatment there each day.
DMCH has long been operating far beyond its current capacity of 2,600 beds.
About 4,000 people were admitted at the hospital on an average day before the Covid-19 pandemic, and the number dropped to 3,000 after the arrival of the coronavirus made it unethical to keep it so crowded, according to the hospital authorities.
Around 4,000 patients seek treatment at the outdoor unit of DMCH each day. A further 1,000 emergency patients also seek treatment on a daily basis.
As the hospital is always operating beyond its maximum capacity, it can only admit about 300 new patients per day.
Architectural and engineering consultancy firm Professional Associates limited has already submitted a draft design for the new DMCH, to be constructed under the Swapno Sakkhor project. Once completed, DMCH will have 5,000 available beds and modern treatment facilities, according to government officials.
Nine 17-storey buildings will be constructed and allocated for six hospital buildings, a medical college, nursing institute, and utility building, according to the draft plan.
According to the draft plan, no vehicle will be allowed inside the DMCH compound except ambulances, and each building will have three-story basement car parking that will be interconnected with other buildings of the compound.
Officials concerned said DMCH would be the gold standard of hospitals in the country after it is remodelled.
Director of DMCH Brigadier General Md Nazmul Haque said to media that a draft plan has already been submitted to the government. Now, the departments concerned are giving recommendations for final approval.
After getting the final report, the work will start as per instructions from the high authorities. We are almost ready. The foundation stone could be lain at any time now, he added.
On the other hand, he said DMCH currently does not have the capacity to deal with many patients suffering from severe cases of specialized illnesses, such as kidney, heart, liver, brain, and eye diseases.
“Usually, we refer these patients to nearby specialized hospitals. When DMCH is remodeled, we will not have to refer so many patients and the pressure on other specialized hospitals will reduce,” he added.