Patients suffered a lot as physicians and clinic owners in the district enforced a strike yesterday demanding the release of a doctor arrested in a murder case.
Physicians did not join their duties at government hospitals, including Rajshahi Medical College Hospital (RMCH), while private clinics were shut.
However, in a late night development, physicians and clinic owners postponed the indefinite strike until tomorrow noon following an assurance from district administration that the doctor would be released.
Talking to The Daily Star, BMA Vice-president Dr Tabibur Rahman said they would resume the strike in Rajshahi
division if their demand was not met by tomorrow noon.
During the strike yesterday, internee doctors were seen treating patients at the RMCH. At ward 8 of the hospital, 35-year-old patient Ashraful Islam died due to lack of treatment, complained his brother Arifur Rahman.
Many patients waited for hours to see doctors, while some left the hospital fearing that there would be no treatment.
Clinic owners went on strike on Thursday evening protesting rejection of bail and sending to jail orthopaedic surgeon Dr Samiul Uddin Ahmed, one of the owners of Dolphin Clinic, by a local court in a murder case.
Later, the district unit of Bangladesh Medical Association (BMA) expressed solidarity with the programme and expanded the strike to government hospitals.
Sharmin Akhtar filed the murder case with Boalia Police Station on January 30. Her husband Anwarul Haque Tipu, 45, vice-president of Chapainawabganj Bonik Samity, died on that day minutes after he was taken to the operation theatre at Dolphin Clinic on Kadirganj Greater Road in the city.
On Thursday, police submitted the final report in the murder case to a local court, exempting Dr Samiul of the charges. The court, however, rejected the report after the plaintiff submitted a no confidence petition to it.
Samiul also surrendered before the court seeking bail in the case. But the court rejected the bail prayer and sent the accused to jail.