Marzia Begum, 60, brought her ailing sister all the way from Madhabdi, Narsingdi to consult a doctor at Green Life Medical College Hospital in the capital Sunday afternoon and found no doctor around as they had put off their private practice for 24 hours ending Monday morning.
‘We came on this Ramadan day to consult a doctor here only to be told that they would not treat patients today ’, Marzia told New Age.
‘We have no relatives in the capital with whom we could stay. Where should we go now?’ she asked.
She said it was not easy to arrive in the capital for which they had to pass through heavy traffic congestions all the way.
A specialist ENT doctor was scheduled to attend Himel Sarkar, 18, of Satkhira to follow up his post nose surgery at 4 PM on Sunday at the same hospital.
But the doctor did not attend him.
His mother said that they had already bought tickets to return to Satkhira Sunday evening.
As they came to know that the doctor would not come and their bus would leave for Satkhira at 6PM, she was seen vainly trying to convince the emergency medical officer to see her son’s condition.
Refusing to give his name, the emergency medical officer told New Age, ‘I have nothing to do... I could not dare to see the patient of
such a high profile ENT surgeon.’
At the Lab Aid Hospital, Beauty Akter, 32, was seen groaning in pain unable to stand due to excruciating pain on her hip joint.
She said on advice from a doctor in Comilla, she came to Lab Aid from Muradnagar, Comilla to consult an orthopedic surgeon and felt helpless finding no doctor around.
Beauty said that Lab Aid officials told her that the doctor would be available on Monday, after their work abstention ends.
‘But where should I go now? I have no relative in the capital’, asked Beauty completely baffled by her experience.
Those were only a few examples of patients sufferings during doctors’ 24-hour countrywide private practice stoppage from Sunday morning.
During visits to private hospitals in the capital, the port cities of Chittagong and Khulna, as well as Rajshahi and the district towns, New Age found that no new patients were admitted on Sunday.
The doctors also stayed away from their chambers.
Bangladesh Medical Association in a release on Saturday called upon doctors to abstain from private practice from 6 AM on Sunday to 6 AM on Monday in protest against attacks on doctors.
BMA office secretary Sheikh Shahid Ullah said that 73 doctors came under attacks in last five years on the allegation that they had provided wrong treatments.
Consumers Association Bangladesh president Golam Rahman said work abstention by doctors was not acceptable.
He said doctors should find alternative means of protest in support of their demand for workplace safety.
‘We condemn attacks on doctors by patients or their relatives, but it is not at all acceptable that doctors would stop seeing patients’, he told New Age.
BMA president Mostafa Jalal Mohiuddin told New Age that the work abstention took place to press the demand for doctors’ safety at work.
‘We are for seeing patients, but we want the safe and secure environment first’, he said.
About the alleged incidents of doctors’ negligence, Mostafa said, BMA wants to investigate into the allegations and that Bangladesh Medical and Dental Council would punish negligent doctors.
New Age correspondent in Chittagong reported that doctors in Chittagong abstained from their private practice in protest against attacks on doctors.
BMA Chittagong chapter general secretary Faisal Iqbal Chowdhury said Chittagong doctors were abstaining from their private practice.
New Age correspondent in Rajshahi reported that patients in Rajshahi and its adjacent districts suffered immensely as doctors stayed away from private practice.
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