Bangladesh Medical Association Chattogram Chapter Declares 24-Hour Boycott of Private Healthcare Services

Bangladeshi doctors boycott private healthcare services for 24 hours to protest attacks on colleagues, demanding stronger laws to protect healthcare professionals.

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Muhammad Jawad
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Bangladesh Medical Association Chattogram Chapter Declares 24-Hour Boycott of Private Healthcare Services

Bangladesh Medical Association Chattogram Chapter Declares 24-Hour Boycott of Private Healthcare Services

The Bangladesh Medical Association (BMA) Chattogram chapter has announced a 24-hour boycott of private healthcare services from April 23-24, 2024, in protest of recent attacks on two doctors in the city. The decision was made in response to separate incidents where physicians were assaulted by local Awami League leaders and relatives of patients.

On April 10, Raktim Das, a doctor at the Patiya general hospital, was seriously injured after being attacked by local Awami League leaders for a delay in treating a patient who suffered a heart attack. Just four days later, on April 14, Riaz Uddin Shiplo, a physician at the Chattogram medical centre hospital, sustained injuries after being attacked by the relatives of a patient who allegedly died due to wrong treatment.

The medical association is demanding the cancellation of bail for the perpetrators and the arrest of others involved in the attacks. The BMA Chattogram wing secretary general stated that all types of private offices, new patient admissions in hospitals, and new patient services in diagnostic centers will be closed during the 24-hour boycott.

Why this matters: The increasing attacks on doctors while performing their duties have raised concerns about the safety of healthcare professionals in Bangladesh. The medical community is calling for stronger laws to protect doctors and ensure that those responsible for such attacks face appropriate consequences.

Earlier, healthcare workers observed a two-hour absence from work on Sunday and Monday as part of the protest. The Chittagong district BMA president, Dr. Mujibul Haque Khan, emphasized the need for a strong law to protect doctors, stating, "Doctors have been subjected to various forms of torture while performing their duties, and attacks on doctors are increasing due to the lack of proper justice."

The 24-hour boycott, which has garnered unanimous support from various medical organizations, aims to send a strong message and demand action against those responsible for the attacks on doctors. While government healthcare facilities will remain accessible during the suspension period, the closure of private medical practices, including new patient admissions, services, and diagnostic procedures, is expected to have a significant impact on healthcare services in the city today.

Key Takeaways

  • BMA Chattogram chapter announces 24-hr boycott of private healthcare services.
  • Protests recent attacks on two doctors by local Awami League leaders and patients' relatives.
  • Demands cancellation of bail for perpetrators and arrest of others involved.
  • Closure of private medical practices expected to significantly impact healthcare services.
  • Medical community calls for stronger laws to protect doctors and ensure justice.