Intern doctors of Chattogram Medical College Hospital suddenly went for work stoppage yesterday following a clash between two factions of CMC unit of Bangladesh Chhatra League the day before, causing suffering to patients.
Campus sources said two factions -- one loyal to former city mayor AJM Nasir Uddin and the other to Deputy Minister for Education Mohibul Hasan Chowdhury -- locked in a scuffle over a "trifling issue" at CMC cafeteria on Tuesday evening.
In that clash, some interns also sustained minor injuries, said Jahirul Islam, in-charge of CMCH Police Camp. Police brought the situation under control, he said.
As Nasir's followers are leading intern doctors' association at CMCH, they suddenly went for work abstention yesterday, campus sources said.
Internee doctors play a key role in providing treatment, said Prof Dr Prabir Kumar Das, cardiology department head. "As they [intern doctors] remain out of duty, we face difficulties to deal with the patients," he further said.
Preferring anonymity, several attendants alleged that their patients' treatment was being hampered.
"A professor advised treatment of my patient in the morning but none came to make me understand in three hours," said an attendant at medicine ward. "I don't understand whether any medicine is to be bought from outside."
Prof Dr Sujat Paul, head of Medicine Department at CMCH, told The Daily Star yesterday, "We hope a solution would come."
This correspondent tried to contact Habibur Rahman and MA Awal Rafi, two joint conveners of CMCH intern doctors' association, but neither of them responded to phone calls.
CMCH Director Brig Gen SM Humayun Kabir said they held a meeting with both the factions. A committee will be formed to identify the liable people behind Tuesday's incident, he said.
Asked whether the intern doctors would join work, he said they did not confirm.
About the sudden physicians' shortage, the director said a good number of medical officers and postgraduate trainee doctors are on duty at night.
"Besides, against the backdrop of Covid-19 situation and countrywide lockdown, the number of patients at different wards is low," he said. "So it would not be a problem to deal with patients in absence of internee doctors," he added.