Low-quality diets and allocation issues in Dhaka's public hospitals: A worrying situation

Low-quality diets and allocation issues in Dhaka's public hospitals: A worrying situation

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Masood Rana of Jamalpur was resting on his bed at the National Institute of Cancer Research and Hospital (NICRH) after having lunch on February 8. However, he did not eat lunch that day which the hospital served him. “If the quality of food was really good, why wouldn't I eat the free food offered by hospitals?”

Masood Rana's wife brought rice from home. He took the pot of rice and said, “Check the taste and smell of this boiled rice, as well as the boiled rice provided by the hospital. Then you’ll understand why I don’t eat it.”

Relatives of the patients rent rooms in various apartments near the cancer hospital and there are arrangements to cook rice and curry at the cost of Taka 10 each.

Directors, managers and cooks of several hospitals said it was not possible to provide three meals and some snacks per day for Rs 175. Earlier, the cancer hospital was allotted 70 pieces of fish or meat per patient, which has now been reduced to 55 grams. , A cook at the Martyr Suhrawardy Medical College Hospital said that the pieces of pangas fish are slightly larger because they cost less and the pieces of rue fish are usually smaller. However, fish and meat cuts are processed on an approximate basis.

Fifty-four kilograms of mutton was cooked for the lunch of 993 patients at NITOR on 12 February and a piece of meat weighing 55 grams was allotted for each patient. In the financial year 2022-23, a piece of meat weighing 60 grams was provided to each patient in this 1000-bed hospital.

In Dhaka Medical College Hospital, a patient is given breakfast for 53.67 taka, lunch for 52.79 taka, afternoon snack for 30.87 taka and dinner for 37.67 taka, i.e. a total of 175 taka is given per day.

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