The High Court on Tuesday asked the government to explain in four weeks the legality of the provisions that allowed private practice of doctors employed in the public health service.
The bench of Justice FRM Nazmul Ahasan and Justice KM Kamrul Kader, after hearing a writ petition, also asked the government to constitute an independent medical commission with experts to frame a complete guideline on private practice of government doctors fixing their duty hours at government hospitals.
Health ministry secretary, director-general of health services, Bangladesh Medical and Dental Council president and Bangladesh Medical Association president were asked to reply to the ruling.
Supreme Court lawyers Abdus Sattar Palwan, Salah Uddin Regan, Sujan Miah, Aminul Haq and Kausar Uddin Mondal filed the public interest litigation writ petition.
Petitioner Abdus Sattar Palwan argued that the writ petition was filed after a cardiac patient died in Lakshmipur General Hospital on January 28 due to alleged negligence of the duty doctor staying at his private clinic during the office hours in violation of the law and the constitution.
Article 21(2) of the constitution said, ‘Every person in the service of the republic has a duty to strive at all times to serve the people.’
The lawyer argued that Section 4 of the Medical Practice and Private Clinics and Laboratories (Regulation) Ordinance 1982 allowed private practice of doctors employed in the public health services except the office hours.
He contended that the ordinance prescribe a fine of Tk 5,000 only for any doctor involved in private practice during office hour.
The lawyer argued that the private practice of the government doctors was illegal according to the service rules that prohibited public servants from engaging in other professions.
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