Patients left in lurch as docs play truant amid virus crisis in city

03 April 2020

The sufferings of patients across Dhaka have been compounded during the coronavirus crisis as many doctors have stopped attending their chambers from fear of contracting the infection while diagnostic tests have also hit a snag due to the absence of technicians.
The media has reported on many incidents of patients dying due to a lack of treatment amid the outbreak with many doctors facing accusations of avoiding coronavirus patients.
Many victims have spoken about their woes in interviews.
Abdul Majid Mollah, who had been suffering from stomach aches, arrived at Dhanmondi's Popular Diagnostic Centre on Wednesday from a distant place. Although he managed to see a doctor, he could not get a colonoscopy done due to the absence of technicians.
"They have asked me to come back after a month as a result."
Thyroid patient Fiona, a resident of Mirpur, was scheduled to consult a doctor at Labaid Hospital and get a blood test after taking medication for 28 days.  
But she discovered that the hospital was shuttered by the time she got there on Mar 25 to book an appointment for Apr 1. She visited the   hospital on two more occasions without any luck. "The doctor told me he would cut down the medication after the blood test," Fiona told
"How can I get a test now without consulting a doctor first? How will I know how much medication to take?"
'Badhon', an expectant mother, was told by Mohammadpur Fertility Centre that doctors would only help with the delivery of her baby.
"I was bleeding badly at that time. Later, after a lot of effort, I managed to go to Dhaka Medical College Hospital with the help of one of my acquaintances."
Workers at hospitals and diagnostic centres are probably avoiding their workplaces out of fear of catching the coronavirus infection, Prof Dr Moniruzzaman Bhuiyan, the president of Bangladesh Private Clinic and Diagnostic Centre Owners' Association, told
Besides, many may not be attending offices due to the shutdown of public transport, he said, adding that many have left Dhaka during the holidays. "We have called upon everyone to return to their chambers."
A meeting was held at the Prime Minister's Office on Wednesday to ensure the presence of doctors at their chambers from Thursday, he said.

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