Death without treatment continues

Faulty system blamed

Ershad Kamol | Published: 01:01, Apr 08,2020 | Updated: 01:02, Apr 08,2020


Another patient died in the country on Monday allegedly being denied treatment by reputed hospitals suspecting him a COVID patient amid several incidents of denial over the same suspicion recently.

Following the death of a Dhaka University student Suman Chakma on Monday morning at his Khagrachari residence, his father alleged that cancer patient Suman was denied treatment at reputed hospitals of the country.

Suman Chakma, 23, a student of Institute of Education and Research of Dhaka University, was a central committee member of Brihattara Parbatya Chattogram Pahari Chhatra Parishad, our Khagrachari Correspondent reports.

Suman’s father Supen Chakma accused Dhaka Medical College Hospital, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Hospital and Shaheed Suhrawardy Medical College Hospital and the private Gonoshasthaya Medical College Hospital of denying treatment to his son.

Supen lamented that after denial of treatment, Suman, who had been earlier diagnosed with cancer, had to take medicine from a local homeopathic physician.

On March 26, in a facebook post, Suman Chakma wrote, ‘I’m not infected by coronavirus but I suspect I might embrace death in fear of coronavirus.’

Earlier, a Bangladeshi returnee from Canada, Nazma Amin, 24, died on March 15 as the duty doctors and nurses of Dhaka Medical College allegedly refused to treat suspecting her a COVID19 patient.

According to the news reports published in recent past since the official detection of coronavirus on March 8 in the country, several other people died, including an elderly man of Sylhet and a young man from Naogaon, without treatment in March.

During a video briefing on Tuesday, prime minister Sheikh Hasina came down heavily on physicians who denied treatment to suspected coronavirus patients like Suman Chakma.

She said that she had instructed to gather the particulars of the doctors who were on duty at the hospitals when Suman went there.

‘They don’t have capability to provide treatment, I think that they should be ousted from their jobs,’ she resented.

But, the health service experts said that tendency of denying treatment was a manifestation of faulty health service prevailing in the country.

Terming the contemporary situation a disaster, Professor Quazi Quamruzzaman, chairman of Asia Pacific Alliance for Disaster Management, said that the system was not functioning properly for the lack of coordination of the agencies responsible for providing and monitoring health services.

‘If any physician was found responsible for negligence or denying treatment must be punished following inquiry. But, blaming only the physicians will earn no result unless the system is developed,’ Quamruzzaman said.

‘We should not forget that many physicians gave service taking risk of life and they became victims even during the present problem,’ he said.

Explaining the nature of lack of coordination, Swadhinata Chikitsak Parishad chief Professor Iqbal Arsalan said that responsible wings of the government were not yet functioning as unified force as required for handling such situation.

‘The associations of nurses and medical technicians have not yet been stimulated and involved for getting better services from them,’ Arslan said.

In case of any possible outbreak, Arslan said, it would not be possible to meet the challenges only through the existing government system.

‘The private sectors should also be involved,’ he said.

Shasthya Andolan joint convener Farida Akhter alleged that the country’s health service at present was only coronavirus infection centric overlooking other patients.

Directorate General of Health Services director Aminul Hasan, however, claimed that everything was functioning in synchronised way as per the plan.

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