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Recently, hospitals in Chattogram went for indefinite strikes in response to mobile court drives of RAB, however, the strike has been called off yesterday. Such situation reached at this point after the unexpected death of a three-year-old on June 29 who is daughter of a senior journalist, died of medical negligence at Max Hospital. Soon after the incident, there came demands for punishment of doctors whose negligence was proven in an investigation conducted by a three-member committee. The question is how the authorities concerned could come up with such a decision of strike even for a single day where patients are seen reluctantly leaving, some were bandaged, while many others were on wheeled stretchers.
Why should people suffer due to the ego of doctors? If people die, who will take the responsibility? Such questions are constantly being raised among the mass. On the other hand, hospital associations claim that they were attacked by journalists, and RAB did not notice them earlier of their drives, whereas critics shared in media that doctors holding mass people hostage was nothing new and it was done to save those accused of administering wrong treatment or of medical negligence.
Patients were even begging for appointments. How can doctors hamper access to health services even for hours? It is a matter of regret that some private clinics, diagnostic centers, and hospitals performed strike. As a result, patients were forced out of private hospitals and clinics, and they were left scrambling for alternatives, which were far and few.
In this regard, Prof Mizanur Rahman, former chairman of the National Human Rights Commission, said, “Strike is no way an acceptable means to bargain or strengthen power when it involves lives.”
Time has come to legally specify that some professionals must not exercise power holding people hostage. Whatever has happened, the authorities should be alert that it is never repeated in future because access to health services is people’s basic rights.