Covid-19 positive health workers to get priority at Sheikh Russel Gastro Liver Hospital

Photo: File/ Wikipedia

Sheikh Russel Gastro Liver Institute and Hospital in Dhaka has been designated for priority treatment of coronavirus-positive health workers.

Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) has already sent a letter to the hospital authority asking to take necessary steps in this regard, Aminul Hasan, director (hospital) of DGHS, told The Daily Star today.

The order came on Saturday just hours after Bangladesh Medical Association (BMA) wrote to the health minister urging him to dedicate Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) or any other hospital for treating doctors infected with the virus.

In the strongly-worded letter BMA asked the health minister to do so within three days or else the ministry or the DGHS will be held responsible for "any situation that may arise".

Prof Faruk Ahmed, director of Sheikh Russel Gastro Liver Institute and Hospital, said he has received DGHS's letter and will take necessary steps as per the instruction.

The DGHS letter signed by Aminul Hasan said that many doctors, nurses and other health workers who are working in the frontlines of the battle against Covid-19, have already gotten infected and died.

But if health workers cannot be provided proper treatment quickly, healthcare services for all kinds of patients would face irreparable loss and the ongoing health service system would be hampered, read the letter.

"Against the backdrop, your hospital has been dedicated for providing health service to Covid-19 infected doctors, nurses and other health service providers and for providing all indoor and outdoor services. Take necessary step in this regard," the letter also read.

Contacted, BMA Secretary General Md Ehteshamul Huq Choudhury, said they came to know about the letter. "But the letter does not address what we demanded."

"We wanted dedicated beds for doctors but the letter said doctors and health workers would be given priority at this hospital [Sheikh Russel Gastro Liver Hospital]. If no bed remains vacant, what would our doctors do?" he told The Daily Star today.

In Saturday's letter to the health minister, the BMA blamed the health ministry and the DGHS for the high number of infections among doctors as they failed to provide proper precautions for them.

The ministry has taken initiatives for separate arrangements for journalists, police, lawyers and other professionals but has not shown any interest in taking similar steps to ensure treatment for the frontline fighters, the letter said.