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Neurological letter from Bangladesh
  1. Mohammad Selim Shahi1,
  2. Tauhidul Islam Chowdhury1,
  3. Oliver Bandmann2,3,
  4. Thomas Jenkins2,3
  1. 1 Department of Neurology, National Institute of Neurosciences & Hospital, Dhaka, Bangladesh
  2. 2 Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience, The University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK
  3. 3 Department of Neurology, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield, UK

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MSS and TI: Dhaka is the capital of Bangladesh (figure 1) and the fifth largest city by population in the world. It is home to more than 14 million people and to the National Institute of Neurosciences & Hospital (NINS), a government-run neurological centre of excellence, recognised with the health minister’s best performance award for the past 3 consecutive years, since inauguration in 2012. Patients with neurological disorders from all over the country access the hospital resulting in ever-increasing caseloads. There were more than 268 000 outpatient visits and 36 000 emergency visits last year to a hospital with 450 beds, staffed by 13 professors, 19 associate professors, 34 assistant professors, 11 registrars and medical officers.

Figure 1

Map of Asia (A) showing location of Bangladesh (B) Table reports national statistics for Bangladesh. Images adapted from free Wikimedia Commons (free access).

Specialised outpatient clinics are run by senior neurologists. Patient registration costs 10 taka (approximately 9 pence). Experienced neurologists may see more than a hundred patients in each clinic per day, meaning that consultations are extremely focused, each lasting only a few minutes, and require a high level of clinical acumen. Waiting times can be long. Outpatient services run from 8:30 until 14:30 6 days a week and emergency services are open 24/7.

NINS has both paying and non-paying beds. Paying bed costs are 275 taka per day including food (£2.50). Most medication is free …

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  • MSS and TIC are Joint first authors.

  • Contributors The manuscript was written by MSS, TIC, OB and TJ. The figures were prepared and photographs taken by TJ. All authors have reviewed and agreed on the final manuscript.

  • Funding TJ and OB’s travel to Dhaka was supported by Global Challenge Research Funding.

  • Map disclaimer The depiction of boundaries on the map(s) in this article does not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of BMJ (or any member of its group) concerning the legal status of any country, territory, jurisdiction or area or of its authorities. The map(s) are provided without any warranty of any kind, either express or implied.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned. Externally peer reviewed by Colin Mumford, Edinburgh, UK, and Hadi Manji, London, UK.

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