Three maternal and child health hospitals in Jashore could not start providing services even after six years of their construction for lack of both manpower and equipment.
The district health department is also not sure when the medical services at the hospitals will start.
Of those, the district health engineering department handed over two of the hospital buildings to the Jashore Civil Surgeon's office on 19 and 20 March, 2014.
The one at Singari in Abhaynagar Upazila was constructed at a cost of Tk5.16 crore and the other at Gorpara in Sharsha Upazila at a cost of Tk5.46 crore.
On 8 October the same year, they also handed over the Benapole Land Port Mother and Child Health Hospital to the Health Department after completion of construction at a cost of Tk3.22 crore.
Six years have passed since then, but the hospitals could not start providing medical services to mothers and children at the grassroots level.
The Jashore Civil Surgeon's office said they sent a letter to the health ministry on 10 June 2014 asking for manpower for the hospitals. As the ministry did not respond yet, it has not been possible to recruit any manpower and the hospitals could not start providing services.
Later, the three hospitals were handed over to the Department of Family Welfare last year. As it has also spent a year without taking any effective initiative, none of the three hospitals have started medical services.
We also wrote letters to the ministry several times asking for manpower and equipment. But the ministry did not respond. So, the hospitals are yet to be functional
When asked, the assistant director of Jashore Family Planning Office Dr Munshi Monwar Hossain said, "We also wrote letters to the ministry several times asking for manpower and equipment. But the ministry did not respond. So, the hospitals are yet to be functional."
There are no physicians, nurses and staff, other than cleaners, security guards and midwives, he added.
Sheikh Nader Hossain, Sheikh Muntaz Hossain and Abdur Razzak Sheikh of village Singari donated one acre of land worth around one crore taka for the construction of the Maternal and Childcare hospital. But their dream has not yet come true as maternal and child health services have not been introduced there.
Land provider Sheikh Muntaz Hossain's son Md Amjad Sheikh said a year ago, a person from Jashore and a person from Nawapara Government Hospital inspected the hospital building. But there was no further development.
The state of two other hospitals set up in Gorpara and Benapole is the same.
On a visit to the hospitals, The Business Standard saw that there is a two-storey building as well as an accommodation facility for doctors, but no equipment and no furniture. Additionally, cracks have already developed in some parts of the building in the Gorpara site.
Saheb Ali , a resident of Sharsha upazila, said, "People are being deprived of healthcare as they have to go to Jashore to get medical services as the aforementioned hospitals have not been opened."