Patients suffer as CMCH gate shut for 6 hrs
The interns of Chittagong Medical College Hospital and the students of Chittagong Medical College kept the hospital's main gate closed for over six hours from 6:00am yesterday, causing suffering to patients.
The interns were observing a 48-hour strike in the hospital since Tuesday, protesting the “attack” on some interns and students by locals near Chittagong city's GEC intersection on Monday night.
The CMC students also boycotted their classes for the last two days.
Many patients were seen waiting in front of the hospital's main gate. The indoor patients also had to suffer due to the strike as there were fewer doctors.
Preferring anonymity, a professor of a department at CMCH said providing proper treatment to patients became difficult in the absence of the interns.
Mohammad Hossain was taking his wife to CMCH from Banshkhali upazila in Chittagong. But his vehicle got stuck in a long tailback around half a kilometre off the hospital. The tailback was created as the hospital's main gate was closed and all the vehicles were trying to enter the hospital through another gate.
“I started the journey towards the hospital at dawn with my wife, who is seriously ill, but have been stuck here for around half an hour,” he said, adding, “As my wife cannot walk, we cannot get down.”
Masuma Akter, who was on the way to the hospital from Chandanaish upazila in Chittagong, was also stuck in traffic.
“How long will I have to wait?” said Masuma.
CMCH Director Brig Gen Jalal Uddin said the main gate was opened around 12:30pm in consultation with the interns and the students.
Riaz Uddin Mitul, convener of CMCH Intern Doctors' Association, said 10 students and interns were injured as the students of Omargani MES College “swooped” on them near GEC intersection on Monday night.
Asked about sufferings of patients, Golam Dastagir Prince, member secretary of the association, said the main gate was shut "for security reason".
“The emergency gate remained open and patients entered the hospital through the gate,” he said, claiming that patients did not suffer due to their work abstention.
Dismissing the allegation of attacking the interns and the students, Wasim Uddin, vice-president of Omargani MES College Students' Union, said some CMC students tried to abduct a doctor from a private hospital near GEC intersection on Monday night. Seeing this, some locals protested, he added.
The incident happened following a conflict between some final-year students of Chittagong Medical College and the doctor.
According to Mohammad Selim, general manager of Chittagong Metropolitan Hospital, three people entered the hospital around 9:20pm and started beating up on-duty doctor Ashfaqul Asif, who is also a former student of CMC.
Introducing themselves as the students of CMC, the attackers were dragging Ashfaqul down to the first floor from the third floor, he said, adding that at that time, some people visiting patients noticed the incident and protested.
A scuffle broke out, said Selim.
Following this, the attackers called in others and so did the protesters. Later, the two groups attacked each other outside the hospital, he said, adding, “The whole incident was captured on our CCTV camera.”
Ashfaqul could not be contacted.