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Samorita Hospital, the lone listed healthcare provider, yesterday reported a sharp drop in profit for the last fiscal year, reflecting the sluggish business in the country’s private healthcare sector as most treatment-seekers opted to stay away from hospitals.

The private hospital said its net profit dipped 90 per cent to Tk 32.5 lakh in the financial year ending in June 2020 from Tk 3.22 crore in the previous year.

Samorita blamed the coronavirus disease, which was reported first in early March, for the revenue drop, a view that was echoed by two top officials of the country’s well-known Square Hospital and Labaid Specialised Hospital.

“The Covid-19 has eaten up our income from March to June,” said Samorita Hospital Managing Director ABM Haroon.

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“How will patients come to Dhaka from districts as buses were off the road? For the first time in 22 years, we could not declare any dividend for our shareholders,” he said.

He said the hospital had good business in the first eight months of the last fiscal year. Its income and profit dropped also because of increased expenditure for doctors, technicians and other healthcare workers and setting up of facilities for the treatment of Covid patients.

Md Shariful Islam, company secretary of Samorita Hospital, said the number of patients arriving every day from April to June came down to 10-12.

Haroon, also the senior vice president of the Bangladesh Private Clinic and Diagnostic Owner’s Association (BPCDOA), said except for a few large private hospitals that offer multidisciplinary treatment, all had sluggish business from March to August.

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