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Suspended doctors: We never refused to treat Covid-19 patients

  • Published at 06:47 pm April 12th, 2020
Coronavirus Doctor
File photo: A doctor gives treatment to a patient Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

BMA issues letter in support of suspended doctors

Two of the six suspended doctors of Kuwait Bangladesh Friendship Government Hospital have rejected allegations that they refused to treat Covid-19 patients.

The Bangladesh Medical Association (BMA) has expressed deep concern over the suspension of the doctors, saying it sends a “bad message” to other health workers.

On Sunday, Dr Sharmeen Hossain, junior consultant of the hospital, took to Facebook live and said: “Superintendent Sir has sent my name to DGHS with allegation that I am not willing to provide to treatment to Covid-19 patients. To my knowledge I have never [said I would not treat a patient] in writing or orally.” 

She also said she was on duty from April 1-7 and came to know she had been suspended the day after completing her last night shift.

“[On Sunday] I met with DGHS Director (Admin) Dr Md Belal Hossain with a copy of my attendance register,” the doctor added.

During a talk show on early Sunday, Resident Doctor of the medicine department of the hospital Dr Muhammad Fazlul Haque also said he had not done anything wrong and that he was regularly on duty.

In a letter issued in defence of the suspended doctors, the BMA said the entire doctor fraternity was disappointed with the suspensions, and anyone could withdraw from risky duty as per World Health Organizations (WHO) guidelines.

The letter also said the doctors had rejected the allegations that they had refused to treat patients, and the suspension order did not follow the rules for government employees.

“The authorities could have transferred the doctors or sent them on forced leave, but the suspension order delivers a bad message. It is not clear who benefits from the order,” it added.

DGHS Director (Admin) Dr Md Belal Hossain could not be reached for comment.

Earlier on Saturday, six doctors of Kuwait Bangladesh Friendship Government Hospital were suspended allegedly for refusing to provide treatment to Covid-19 patients or failing to provide services at the hospital.

They were temporarily suspended under Government Service Rule 2018, Clause 12, following the directive of the secretary (healthcare division) of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.

On April 9, the superintendent of the hospital submitted the names of six doctors to the Health Ministry, claiming two of the doctors refused to provide treatment to Covid-19 patients and the other four either did not join the hospital after being transferred or were absent from duty.

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