Samsur Rahman went to the Coronary Care Unit (CCU) of Jashore 250-bed Hospital with chest pain on Friday. The doctor told him to get an x-ray.
As the hospital does not have X-ray facilities, he had to go to Kings Hospital nearby.
Firoz Alam, the nephew of the patient, said "My uncle was diagnosed with a block in his heart. We needed to do some tests. So we had to go to a private hospital nearby."
Another patient Amir Mohammad from Shailkupa upazila of Jhenaidah got admitted to the hospital on Saturday.
His wife Moshiara Begum said, "The doctor told us to do his echocardiography. But the hospital does not have an echocardiography machine. So we had to go to a clinic to do the test."
Not only Samsur and Amir, all the patients at the CCU with 28 beds are deprived of critical services due to lack of modern equipment and manpower.
Moreover, the shortage of manpower is causing damages to the existing equipment.
The construction of the three-storey building of the CCU was completed in 2005.
It was inaugurated on October 12, 2006 to provide treatment to patients with heart diseases in the Khulna region.
Equipment for modern medical services like providing patients with oxygen and ventilation were installed at the CCU back then.
The health ministry allotted money to purchase echocardiogram, ETT, cardiac monitor, colour doppler, and digital ECG machine for the unit.
The hospital authorities recommended the recruitment of 24 doctors, 56 nurses and 143 support staff to run the coronary unit.
However, the unit's launch was postponed many times before it formally started its journey on July 12, 2009.
Ten years have passed but it has not been able to operate fully even now.
At present, apart from measuring blood pressure and giving the patients primary care for heart issues, no other service is available here.
The unit is run by doctors, nurses and staff from Jashore Medical College Hospital and Jashore 250-bed Hospital.
Nursing Superintendent Lilabati Mondol said, "On an average, 60 patients get admitted to the CCU daily. Many patients are accommodated on the floor."
Besides, almost all the important tests have to be done outside, added Lilabati.
Three experienced doctors work here regularly. They are Jaiyonta Kumar Podder, assistant professor, Kajol Kanti Dey, assistant professor, and Towhidul Islam, senior consultant. But they cannot provide adequate treatment to the patients in the absence of necessary equipment. They refer patients to other hospitals if primary treatments do not work.
Sources said the echo machine, ETT machine, cardiac monitor and colour doppler machine have been kept in the storeroom of the ward-in-charge for many years without any maintenance.
Dr Towhidul Islam, a senior consultant of the cardiac unit, said, "Two ECG machines function properly, but due to lack of the paper required to run it, one of the machines remains inactive now. If there is adequate equipment and manpower, the unit can provide better treatment to patients."
Abul Kalam Azad Litu, director of the CCU and superintendent of Jashore 250-bed Hospital said, "The coronary unit has nothing of its own except the building. The number of patients with heart diseases is increasing. Despite so many limitations, we are providing medical service to the patients."
"After I became the director, I sent letters to the health ministry to create 79 positions in the CCU. The ministry responded by agreeing to create 46 posts, but it has not been implemented as yet. We have also informed the ministry several times about the equipment that are out of order."