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‘Attack’ on Khulna physician

Patients continue to suffer as doctors’ strike drags into 3rd day

Published : 03 Mar 2023 10:11 PM | Updated : 04 Mar 2023 01:56 PM

Khulna doctors' strike protesting the "attack" on one of their colleagues by a policeman and others entered its third day on Friday.

Healthcare services came to a grinding halt at all government and private hospitals, except for emergency care, in the district due to the strike, causing immense suffering to patients and others.

Dr Baharul Alam, president of the Khulna unit of the Bangladesh Medical Association (BMA), said a high-level delegation of the Directorate General of Health Services already arrived in Khulna to discuss the withdrawal of the strike.

"The delegation will hold a meeting with the BMA, clinic owners and physicians to address the issue," he said.

Healthcare seekers said the appointments with specialist physicians, who come from Dhaka and practice privately at clinics, were cancelled on Thursday night due to the strike as the physicians "expressed solidarity with the protesters."

On February 25, Dr Sheikh Nishat Abdullah, head of the Burn and Plastic Surgery Department of Shaheed Sheikh Abu Naser Specialised Hospital, was allegedly physically assaulted, by a patient's relatives, including Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) Naim, at a nursing home in Sheikhpara of Khulna city during surgery.

Protesting the attack, the BMA Khulna unit decided to observe a 24-hour work abstention from Wednesday to Thursday morning.

Baharul Thursday said they would continue the strike as long as the ASI is not arrested, and a case filed against the physician is not withdrawn.

Meanwhile, ASI Naim, who was earlier posted at a police station in Satkhira, was attached to the district's police lines after his withdrawal from his workplace Thursday.

Kazi Moniruzzaman, superintendent of Satkhira police, said actions will be taken against him if the allegations are found to be true after an investigation, he said.

Nusrat Ara Moyna, wife of the policeman, held a press conference on Thursday at Khulna Press Club seeking the intervention of the Prime Minister to resolve the problem, saying: "I have video footage of that night which shows no evidence of assault and vandalism."

Moyana also demanded justice for "harassment against her" and implicating Naim in a "false case."

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