The High Court Division said Monday that physicians’ noble profession was getting vicious.
The court said that the poor and the common and the poor patients were suffering due to criminalization of the noble profession by some physicians.
A bench of Justice FRM Nazmul Ahasan and Justice KM Kamrul Kader made the observations at a hearing where the Health Services director general Abul Kalam Azad appeared getting summons.
The DG was summoned to explain what action had been taken by government against Impact Masudul Haque Memorial Community Health Centre and its doctors for making 19 persons blind and damaging one eye’ sight of another person.
The sights of the 20 persons were damaged after cataract operations were done at an eye camp at Chuadanga run by Impact Masudul Haque Memorial Community Health Centre in March.
The court set July 16 for further hearing in the matter and asked the DG, Chuadanga civil surgeon Khairul Alam, and Impact Masudul Huq Memorial Community Health Centre officials to reply to the ruling.
In the ruling the court asked them to explain why they would not be directed to pay compensations to the 20 victims.
The court also asked the Health Services DG to explain how doctors and private hospitals in the port city of Chittagong began a strike stopping treatment of patients after the Rapid Action Battalion began a drive against two private hospitals following a baby’s death at Max Hospital due to wrong treatment.
Due to wrong treatment 2-year old Raifa Khan died at the Max Hospital one day after she was admitted there with pain in her throat.
The court sensitized the DG about the public perception that the Health Services was not discharging its responsibilities and that the Health Services occasionally wake up after mishaps occur.
‘To err is human. You too can commit mistakes. But it is unfair to call strikes to justify mistakes which makes us concerned,’ said the court.
‘Doctors’ profession is noble but some doctors has criminalized it,’ said the court.
There was a time when doctors provided free treatment to the needy patients, the court reminded the Health Services DG.
Now no one wants to go to a doctor, a lawyer or the police unless they are in trouble, said the court.
The people lost their confidence on the three professions as they no more get the service from those serving in these ‘noble professions’, said the court.
The court called it a matter of concern that the government was showing no interest to take action against criminalization of doctors’ profession.
None can escape punishment for negligence, said the court
Bangladesh losses huge money as countless patients go to neighboring India and other foreign countries to get medical treatment as doctors in this country were not attentive to the patients for which patients get wrong treatment.
The court said doctors’ misbehavior also compels countless patients to seek medical treatment in foreign countries.
The court called it unfortunate that doctors themselves were responsible for losing confidence and trust of patients.
The bench said, ‘We ourselves saw the difference between treatment in Bangladesh and in the other countries.’
The court said that there was none to control doctors from charging fees at arbitrarily high rates and drug stores selling date-expired medicines.
The court said that there should be law in this country to pay compensations to victims of wrong treatment as all the civilized countries have.
The Health Services DG informed court that the drive against private hospitals had been jointly launched by the Health Services and the RAB.
He said that the ICDDR,B found bacteria in medicines applied by Impact Masudul Huq Memorial Community Health Centre, on the 20 eye patients.
But he said that the test by the health services could not detect the source of bacteria in the medicines used by Impact.
Asked why the government committee did not find source of bacteria, the DG said that delay in in collecting the samples by the committee could be the reason.
According to Health experts, Bangladeshis flock to India and the other countries in search of getting better medical treatment.
Indian government data shows that about half of 1,34,344 visas issued by India for medical treatment in 2015 went to citizens from Bangladesh. The number of medical visas increased to about 97,000 only in the first six months of 2016.
They said that Bangladesh had, over the years, failed to develop better medical services, leading a large number of patients to go to India or other Asian countries like Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore as alternative choices for treatments.
On Sunday, another HC bench reprimanded medical officer AKM Abdullah Al Mamun and senior nurse Chaya Rani Chowdhury of Lohagarah Upazila Health Complex and ordered them to keep standing in the courtroom for refusing to treat poor Mariam Begum for which she eventually gave birth to a stillborn baby in the open compound of the health complex on May 9.
The court said that the government was spending a lot on medical education but doctors feel that they were accountable to none.’
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