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‘Wrong treatment’ continues to claim lives

Patients continue to lose their lives due to ‘wrong treatment’ across the country, shattering people’s confidence in physicians.

Families of the victims are running after the authorities concerned in many cases seeking punishment for the accused.

But the physicians are hardly getting punished in the absence of a specific strong law.

A large number of patients died due to alleged wrong treatment and negligence of doctors in the capital and some other parts of the country in the first half of the current year, according to media reports and Bangladesh Medical and Dental Council (BMDC).

In one such tragic incident in June, a mother named Mahbuba Rahman Ankhi and her newborn died at Central Hospital in Dhanmondi of the capital.

Some other incidents, including the deaths of one Purobi Ghosh at Ibn Sina Hospital and twin neonates at Human Clinic and Diagnostic Centre at Debiganj in Panchagarh were very pathetic.

Besides, some incidents manifested that the doctors really neglected treatment. Such incidents included operating the gallbladder of one Parvez with the test reports of one Parvin in a hospital and the surgery at right leg of a man instead of his fractured left one at Mugda Hospital.

According to the BMDC, about 200 complaints over patients’ deaths due to wrong treatment and negligence were lodged with it in the last five years.

The registration of one doctor was cancelled and that of 12 were temporarily suspended following the complaints.

The family members of some victims have said that the temporarily registration suspension is nothing but granting leave to the accused for recreation.

They think a strong specific law and its implementation can save patients from deaths due to the wrong treatment of the doctors and nurses.

Dr Sheikh Daud Adnan, director (Hospital and Clinics) of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), has told the Daily Sun that there are already strong laws.

“The DGHS and the BMDC are taking actions against doctors and hospitals after probe into wrong treatment and negligence as per the power authorised by the laws concerned. The BMDC has authorisation to cancel and suspend registrations of doctors while the DGHS can cancel licence of hospitals,” he said.

Apart from the two bodies, one can go to court for punishment for the accused, he added.

Feeling chest pain, Jakir Hossain Khan, 38, a resident of Dhanmondi in the capital, was admitted to Green Life Hospital under its Associate Professor Dr Rashedul Hasan Kanak on March 12 morning, according to a complaint lodged with the BMDC on April 18.

After some tests, the physician released him by prescribing three gastro-resistant tablets. As condition of the patient deteriorated, he was rushed to BRB Hospital where Dr Shekhor Kumar Mandal told them that Jakir would die within one and a half hours provided that he was not gone through a cardiac surgery to set up rings in his heart.

The family members of the patient wanted to take him to United Hospital or Labaid Hospital, but the doctor asked them that he himself would set the rings at Green Life Hospital. The physician also asked the family members to quickly take him to the private hospital where Dr Shekhor and Dr Golam Azam carried out the surgery without paying heed to the diabetic patient. On March 15, Jakir died on life support at Green Life Hospital.

Sensing the wrong treatment of the doctors, the hospital authority admitted the fact to the deceased family and asked them to take the body without paying the bills of Tk 6.24 lakh.

The authority requested them not to circulate it outside thinking the image of the hospital.

Nurun Nahar, wife of the victim, also lodged complaints with the DGHS to take action against Dr Rashed, Dr Shekhor and Dr Azam.

On April 30, the DGHS formed a four-member committee to look into it.

In another example, the negligence and wrong treatment of Professor Dr Bijoy Krishna Das of Care Medical College Hospital caused the death of an 11-month-old infant, Abdullah Al-Azad, son of Abdullah Al-Sayem, a resident of Mohammadpur in August, 2021.

A probe body of Bangladesh Medical and Dental Council (BMDC) dug out the fact and suspended the registration of the physician on June 22 for six months, said Registrar (Acting) of the BMDC Dr Liaquat Hossain.

Ill-fated father Sayem told the Daily Sun that the punishment of six-month registration suspension was nothing but granting leave to the physician for recreation.