Deceptive medical services are killing innocent people

Publish: 9:34 PM, February 28, 2024 | Update: 9:34 PM, February 28, 2024

Pinky Akter : Ten-year-old Ahnaf Tahmin Ayman died last Tuesday while undergoing circumcision at the JS Diagnostic and Medical Check-Up Center in Malibag Chowdhurypara of the capital. Ahnaf’s father, Fakhrul Alam, said, “I came to know about JS Hospital through an acquaintance, and there was no decision to circumcise my son.” Then it was getting late to take my son to the hospital. Since evening, they kept calling me repeatedly. At one point, it was said from the hospital that we have brought the doctor as you were saying. Shall we send the doctor back now, he asked to go quickly. He said, if I had been a little more aware that day, I would have thought about why I would be called repeatedly to take a patient from a hospital; then maybe I would not have lost my son. Dr. JS Hospital. Ayan was circumcised under the supervision of SM Muktadir.

As his assistant was Dr. Mahbub and Dr. Ishtiaq Azad Muktadir introduced himself to Ayaan’s father Fakhrul Alam as an orthopedic surgeon at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) and Mahbub as a doctor in the Department of Anesthesiology and Ishtiaq Dhaka Medical College (DMC) Hospital. However, according to BSMMU and DMCH sources, the accused 3 are not doctors of these two hospitals. After Ahnaf’s death, it was learned that the JS was registered as a diagnostic center but was not registered as a hospital. On February 20, Ahnaf Tahmin (10) went for circumcision at JS Hospital in Malibagh of the capital. Anesthesia was given to Ahnaf’s body for circumcision around 8:00 p.m., after which he did not wake up again. After an hour, the child was declared dead by the hospital.

Before this, Rahib Reza (31), the product manager of Startic Engineering Company, went for endoscopy at LabAid on the evening of February 15. He died of cardiac arrest while undergoing endoscopy at LabAid Hospital in Dhanmondi. However, the relatives complained that anesthesia was applied to Rahib Raza’s body without seeing the test report at LabAid Hospital. Endoscopy is done in physical complications. At one stage, the physical condition further deteriorated, and he died on the morning of February 19 while undergoing treatment in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of LabAid Hospital. Besides, on December 31, another child, Ayan, was killed while undergoing circumcision. The incident took place at the United Medical College Hospital in Badda area of the capital. With which there is a nationwide stir. It is known that the child did not regain consciousness after the application of anesthetic drugs around 9 o’clock that morning.

Later he was sent to United Hospital in Gulshan. He was kept on life support for seven consecutive days in the PICU (Child Intensive Care Unit) there, and doctors declared the child dead on January 7 midnight. The family has alleged wrongful treatment in these three deaths in just one and a half months. In two of these cases, cases have been filed so far and in another case, it is said that preparations are underway. Not only Ahnaf, Rahib or Ayan, unusual events that often happen in the country.

Even if some of them come to light due to the media, most of them remain hidden. Health experts believe that various factors are responsible for this, including the lack of supervision by the concerned authorities, the running of fake doctors, and the financial greed of dishonest doctors. Concerned authorities are busy to avoid responsibility after the incident: When a death occurs due to wrong treatment in a diagnostic or hospital, the concerned authorities are busy to avoid responsibility. The hospital authorities continue to blame the doctor. On the other hand, doctors place responsibility on those working in hospital labs or operation theatres. So, who is responsible for the death due to wrong treatment?

Half a million private hospitals and clinics, 15 thousand licensed: There are 15,233 licensed private hospitals, clinics, diagnostic centers, and blood banks in the country. But there are actually more than half a million in operation. These hospitals, clinics, and diagnostic centers, which have proliferated like mushrooms after rain, are operating with significant shortages in infrastructure and medical staff. Doctors, nurses, and technologists are scarce; meanwhile, these facilities are operating freely under the nose of the administration with individuals holding fake degrees. The Department of Health sometimes conducts raids, but the situation quickly reverts to its previous state. Despite the abundance of hospitals, clinics, and diagnostic centers, there has been little progress in healthcare.

Active broker circles in government hospitals—private ones are akin to slaughterhouses: Due to excessive patient pressure, the harassment of brokers, and poor management, treatment costs are high in government hospitals, but incidents of harassment are low. Consequently, patients flock to private hospitals throughout the year. However, private hospitals are nothing short of slaughterhouses. Patients do not receive the necessary services even from private hospitals due to various reasons, including inadequate manpower, irregularities, and mismanagement. Illegal hospitals and clinics remain beyond control.

Doctors prioritizing private patients: A common complaint against government doctors is their absence from hospitals, especially at the village level. Doctors outside Dhaka draw government salaries but spend their time working in numerous private hospitals in Dhaka or attending to private patients or engaging in other activities.

Highlighting corruption and fraud in medical services as the most perilous, experts assert that the authorities and masterminds behind such practices must be brought under the law to halt the proliferation of fake doctors and close unregistered hospitals.

Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr. Samant Lal Sen stated, “I will identify health issues across the country and swiftly address them. I will strive to ensure the presence of doctors and take strict action against those engaged in malpractice.”