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If RAB or police can solve all problems then we don`t need ministries: Doctors` sensitivity understandable

By Editorial Desk
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On Sunday, private hospitals suspended their duties in protest of RAB's sudden drive against irregularities in two private hospitals. The strike called at the private hospitals, clinics, and diagnostic centres in Chattogram has ended. Private Hospital and Diagnosis Owners' Association General Secretary Dr Liakat Ali confirmed the matter around 12:45pm on Monday, as per local news reports.

Two mobile courts of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) raided Max Hospital in Mehedibag area and Metropolitan Hospital at GEC intersection. RAB fined Tk10 lakh to Max Hospital for several anomalies found in their activities-and gave them 15 days to rectify the problems. Previously, on June 29, a three-year-old baby named Raifa Khan

died due to incorrect treatment at Max Hospital. Later, a probe body, formed by the government to investigate the death of Raifa Khan, found evidence of negligence in her treatment.

However, Executive Magistrate of RAB Sarwar Alam told reporters that the drive at the privately-run hospital is not connected to Raifa's case. In another drive conducted by Sarwar Alam, RAB fined a privately-run hospital with Tk 4 lakh for multiple anomalies.

If we need RAB and the police to conduct raids for all irregular activities then why do we need various Ministries and Ministers?  Police and RAB should be concerned about safety and security of the people. But police power and police fear cannot be everything for the government to justify everything.

Recently police have been used to suppress the demand of the protesting students who are wanting implementation of the promise of the Prime Minister on quota system. The force was applied so brutally that an eminent Professor Serajul Islam was compelled to say that even in Pakistan days nothing like this happened.

Previously the RAB had conducted drives against sweetshops, restaurants, hotels, but this is the first time that they have started targeting hospitals. It started with the best hospitals in Dhaka like Apollo and United being targeted and the drives to find out anomalies have spread to Chattogram.

But why should RAB and the police conduct drives in the first place? It is the job of the Health Ministry and the Ministry of Food to find out if hospitals and restaurants have a hygienic and quality atmosphere to ensure that those who go there for treatment or to eat don't do so in unhygienic conditions. We have an autonomous body called the Bangladesh Food Safety Authority to look after restaurant hygiene. It has the power to fine and sentence people for food adulteration.

The Directorate General of Health Services, however, has yet to establish a regulatory mechanism to regulate private hospitals. Its about time that we reduced the dependence on our security apparatus and relied more on the existing regulatory authorities to improve conditions rather than wait for tragedies to strike.

We are disturbed that the police power is abused for prolifically sensitive matters and that is not good for the police. The government is proving its own incompetence to run any Ministry and so there is crisis everywhere.

In the hospital incident in Chattogram the doctor's failure to offer right treatment has to be taken seriously by the Ministry of Health. We do not condone the death of the child but sending RAB was uncalled for and the angry reaction of doctors was justified in our view. The matter should have been brought under control by the Health Minister.  If the hospital was not properly equipped, it should have been found out by the Ministry of Health. We want to see role of the Health Ministry in this regard. The government's dependence on police for everything is not acceptable by any means.

We have to accept that the doctors have sensitivity and they must also be treated respectfully. 

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