A woman died after undergoing gallbladder surgery in an unlicensed Khulna clinic on Monday night, prompting family members and locals to besiege the hospital.
Saleha Begum, 65, was admitted to the National Hospital in the city on the same day. After the surgery, the patient suffered from breathing complications and doctors there advised her family to send her to an ICU (intensive care unit) as the clinic did not have any, said family members.
She was rushed to Gazi Medical College Hospital, where on-duty doctors declared her “brought dead”, they said.
Furious family members and relatives with locals surrounded National Hospital and attempted to confine doctors and staff around 9pm, alleging that Saleha died of wrong treatment. Police and Rab brought the situation under control around 11pm.
Humayun Kabir, officer-in-charge of Khulna Sadar Police Station, told The Daily Star that police rushed to the clinic and brought the situation under control.
Victim’s son Monir Hossain told this correspondent that he admitted his mother there on assurance from the clinic manager that the surgery would be done by Dr SM Morshed, a reputed doctor of Khulna.
“But the surgeon did not even meet us after the operation to update us about my mother’s condition,” he alleged.
No case was filed in this regard. Monir Hossain said they did not get any documents from the clinic yet, and were waiting for those to file a case.
According to the list of hospitals of Directorate General of Health Services in Khulna, the clinic is running without license.
Contacted, one of its directors, Dr Bongo Kamol Basu admitted it, and also said there is no post-operative service there. He told this newspaper that clinic authorities have already applied for license online. “Modern equipment could not be arranged yet as the clinic only opened five months ago,” he said.
Talking to this newspaper over phone, DR SM Morshed, deputy director at Shaheed Sheikh Abu Naser Specialized Hospital, claimed that after the surgery was completed, the patient suffered from breathing complications, and the anesthesiologist on duty at unlicensed Khulna clinic referred the patient to an ICU at another hospital.
Asked whether he was aware that the hospital was running without license and did not have post-operative facilities, he said, “We usually don’t ask these questions. Government authorities are there to ensure these.”
Attendants of other patients at the clinic alleged that there is no patient lift there, and surgery patients are carried to and from the fifth-floor operation theatre in stretchers, with their legs up and head low.
However, Managing Director of the clinic, Monir Ahmed, claimed that it is not detrimental to patients’ health. Asked about Saleha’s death, he said, “We did not realise that a minor surgery would give rise to such complications. Otherwise we would have taken precautionary measures.” He admitted that no doctor from his clinic accompanied the patient when she was being transferred, and it was wrong on their part.