Vol. 5 Num 663 Sun. April 09, 2006  
Front Page

Patients desert hospital as Ctg interns' strike enters day 4

Services at Chittagong Medical College Hospital (CMCH) virtually collapsed yesterday causing sufferings to the patients as an indefinite strike by the intern doctors entered into its fourth consecutive day, while CMCH authorities continue to maintain their indifference to the situation.

Doctors in different wards yesterday forced many of the admitted patients to leave the hospital to cope with the immense pressure from the inflow of new patients. Some of the doctors were seen using inexperienced medical students as helping hands while conducting surgeries on patients in a few wards.

According to CMCH sources, over 150 previously admitted patients left the hospital yesterday following unavailability of medical services.

Intern Doctors Association (IDA) of CMCH yesterday at a rally, which was followed by a two-hour scheduled token sit-in programme, announced that they would shut down the administrative office today.

IDA leaders at the rally presided over by its convener Dr Moniruzzaman Maruf vowed to continue the strike until their demand for payment of increased allowance is met.

They also issued a 24-hour ultimatum to CMCH authorities to fulfil their demands. Otherwise they threatened to paralyse administrative activities for an indefinite period from tomorrow. The ultimatum will end this afternoon.

Meanwhile, sufferings of the admitted patients and the admission seekers were beyond description while on-duty doctors faced tremendous pressure to provide treatment yesterday as it was a scheduled day for admissions at different wards.

Sources said usually on an average 30 to 35 new patients are admitted to each ward on an admission day.

While visiting the hospital at 10:00am yesterday around 30 to 50 beds were found empty in different wards.

A doctor's assistant of ward No 24 Md Selim said it was the scheduled admission day for the ward and to accommodate the newcomers they had discharged some of the patients early in the morning considering their good conditions and to accommodate the newcomers.

There were 65 patients in ward 24 yesterday but the number was around 100 on Friday and 150 on Thursday, sources said.

Only 10 new patients were admitted to the ward till 1:00pm yesterday while usually on such a day around 30 to 35 patients get admissions, Selim said.

Shafiul Alam, 42, of Hathajari was seen lying on the floor of the ward No 24 who had undergone a surgery a week ago.

He alleged that like him six other patients were lying on the floor and were being deprived of their required dressings for the last four days resulting in infections in their wounds.

Asif, a 3rd year student of Chittagong Medical College (CMC), said the doctors in operation theatres had to use some 3rd year students for helps like dressing, passing the forceps, helping in pulling the skin of a patient, etc which are usually done by the intern doctors.

An honorary medical officer (HMO) of ward no 27, asking not to be named, echoed Asif. He also said they had five surgeries scheduled yesterday but feared that they might cancel three of those for lack of hands.

Dr Nur Har Begum, acting director of CMCH, refused to comment on the situation and asked this correspondent to wait for Brigadier General Abedur Rahman, the hospital director, who is now in Malayasia and likely to join the office on April 13.

Patients at Chittagong Medical College Hospital (CMCH) are being shifted to other hospitals as the intern doctors continued their strike for the fourth consecutive day yesterday. PHOTO: STAR