Entire medical services in Khulna district have come to a halt as medical practitioners of both public and private hospitals went on an indefinite strike from yesterday, causing untold sufferings for the patients.
They observed protest rallies in front of three government hospitals in the district and handed over a memorandum to Khulna Metropolitan Police Commissioner Shafiqur Rahman.
Their three-point demands are arrest and exemplary punishment of the Khulna University students involved in Dr Tanvir Ahmed Bappa abduction incident, investigation into the attack on some employees of Gazi Medical College Hospital, and security of doctors and employees of all government and private hospitals.
Leaders of Khulna units of the Bangladesh Medical Association (BMA), Bangladesh Private Medical Practitioners Association (BPMPA), and Bangladesh Private Clinic and Diagnostics Owners Association (BPCDOA) addressed the rallies.
While addressing a rally, Dr Sheikh Baharul Alam, vice-president of Khulna chapter of BMA, said, “We will continue indefinite strike until our demands
“Government doctors also joined the programme,” he said, adding that only duty doctors would perform their duties at Ots and emergency departments during the strike.
Earlier, only doctors of private clinics and hospitals went on a 48-hour strike from Saturday, protesting the attack on a fellow physician of Gazi Medical College Hospital (GMCH) Wednesday night.
“Doctors of three government hospitals joined the strike expressing solidarity with doctors of private hospitals,” said Khulna Medical College Hospital (KMCH) Director Prof Paritosh Kumar Kundu, while addressing the same rally.
Meanwhile, patients were paying the price of the strike as the entire medical services came to a stop.
Saira Khatun, who took her elderly mother to the KMCH for treatment, said, “If I knew that the doctors were observing strike, I would not take my ill mother here.”
Relatives of a pregnant woman, Hafiza Begum, said they took her to a local hospital in Batiaghata upazila Sunday night, but doctors were not available there.
She was then shifted to Khulna General Hospital's emergency department yesterday morning with critical condition, but no doctors were available there, the relatives claimed.
Wednesday night, some students of Khulna University vandalised windowpanes, glasses, doors and valuable medical equipments of GMCH and abducted duty doctor Tanvir, claiming that the medical authorities failed to ensure better treatment for Amit Roy, a first year student of the university.
Police, however, rescued Tanvir from a hotel near the KU campus Thursday morning.
Amit, who was injured in a road crash, was rushed to KMCH. He was later shifted to GMCH. He succumbed to his injuries around 11.30pm on Wednesday while being taken to Dhaka for better treatment.