Sunday, May 20, 2007

5 more patients die at RMCH

Few Interns Return to Work
5 more patients die at RMCH

Five more patients died at Rajshahi Medical College Hospital (RMCH) yesterday amid virtual work abstention of the intern doctors.

Earlier, in absence of treatment facilities due to the strike that intern doctors called following a clash with patients' attendants on Wednesday afternoon, four patients died and many others left the hospital without treatment.

The five patients who died yesterday include two children and an elderly person from Bogra, a RMCH official told reporters last night.

Only a very few interns joined the work at some emergency wards following the RMCH director's notice, witnesses and RMCH sources said.

At a press conference yesterday evening, where some 60 interns of a total of 150 working at the hospital attended, the interns said they temporarily withdrew the strike till Saturday.

That day they will sit with the RMCH director demanding security and resume their strike if the meeting fails, they said.

After reading out a written statement, intern Dr Soyeb Sarwar Murad ended the press conference refusing to answer the journalists' questions.

The government formed a high-powered committee to investigate the incidents of RMCH that led to the death of four patients in absence of treatment on Thursday.

The three-member committee headed by Mohammad Abdullah, deputy secretary of the health ministry, is likely to visit Rajshahi today.

RMCH authorities formed a three-member probe committee headed by Prof Dr ABM Abdul Hannan of surgery department and the committee already started working, official sources said.

Police also began investigating the incidents of death of Sima, one of the four patients who died due to lack of treatment on Thursday, and beating of her attendants on Wednesday afternoon.

Sima, wife of Chapainawabganj jail guard Shahabul Islam, was buried at his village home. Her mother Noor Jahan Begum filed a case for the death due to negligence in treatment and for beating up her son-in-law.

Assistant Commissioner Joydev Chowdhury of Rajshahi Metropolitan Police said they visited ward no 16, the place of occurrence, and heard the witnesses.

RMCH Director Brig Gen Bazle Quader called a press conference at his office yesterday afternoon but local journalists refused to attend it saying that the RMCH director had barred the newsmen's entrance to the hospital premises since March.

Later the RMCH director's spokesman and local bureau chief of daily Jai Jai Din Dr Bulbul Hossain in an e-mail told reporters that the RMCH director rejected the newspaper reports on the incidents of Wednesday and Thursday.

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