The High Court today directed the government to ensure emergency medical services to road accident victims at all medical centres across the country.
The court also ordered the health ministry to issue a gazette notification containing the guidelines for ensuring emergency medical service to road crash victims and protecting their “Good Samaritans” [the people who voluntarily help the victims without expecting award or any financial assistance].
Modifying the guidelines formulated by the health ministry this year, the HC said the ministry will have to issue the gazette notification in two months after receiving the copy of the judgement.
Today, the HC bench of Justice Syed Refaat Ahmed and Justice Farid Ahmed delivered the verdict after hearing a writ petition jointly filed by Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (Blast) and Saif Kamal, a social entrepreneur who is the founder of Toru working for youths.
They submitted the petition in February 2016 following a report published on The Daily Star on January 24, 2016 under a headline “Hearts of stone” that narrated how the three private hospitals had refused to provide treatment to a bus driver's helper Arif before his death.
According to the report, Saif Kamal had tried to ensure treatment from three private hospitals for Arif who was killed in a road accident after falling from the bus on the Airport Road near Banani in the capital the same year.
Following the same writ petition, the HC on February 10, 2016 directed the government to take necessary steps for providing emergency medical services to all critically injured persons at the government hospitals and private clinics across the country.
The court also asked health secretary to formulate guidelines for management of such emergency services and for measures to create public awareness of such services through print and electronic media.
The health ministry recently submitted the guidelines titled as “Sarak Durghatanay Ahoto Byaktir Joruri Swastha Seba Nishchitkoron or Sohayatakarir Surokkha Prodan Neetimala, 2018” to the HC through the attorney general’s office.
Barrister Rashna Imam, Barrister Anita Gazi Rahman and Advocate Sharmin Aktar appeared for the petitioners, while Deputy Attorney General Kazi Zinat Hoque represented the government.