AS if the two-day strike on Sunday and Monday by the interns and honorary physicians of the Dhaka Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) was not enough, the Bangladesh Medical Association (BMA) has made another one hour's work abstention call at all public and private hospitals on Wednesday demanding safety at workplace. Specialist doctors, too, will abstain from attending their private chambers for two hours on Thursday.
Angered by assault on some of their DMCH colleagues at the hands of troublemakers, doctors in the name of these strikes have thus been refusing treatment to patients, who have no connection with any attack on doctors. Already, scores of outdoor and emergency patients, many of whom in critical condition, had to leave the DMCH without treatment. Now with the BMA's call for nationwide strike, one wonders, how many more patients will have to suffer even if for an hour or two.
The development is most unfortunate and must be rolled back in public interest. Doctors may have had resentment against persons who wronged them, but why should unsuspecting patients be punished for that? Moreover, if only due to the very nature of their calling, which is bound by the lofty ideals of Hippocratic Oath, doctors are not supposed to behave like a trade union or a pressure group. They must work in a way that restores public confidence in the health care system, which the people turn to at an hour of their greatest need.