Thursday, May 15, 2008

All private clinics in Rajshahi city stop admitting patients

All diagnostic labs also closed protesting 'unjust fining' by government
Private-owned clinics and diagnostic centres in Rajshahi city keep their shutters down following their announcement of indefinite work abstention yesterday afternoon. Photo: STAR
Around 60 private clinics and diagnostic centre owners in Rajshahi city went on an indefinite work-stoppage yesterday afternoon for what they said 'unjustified fining' by the government.

As the clinics and diagnostic centres, where around 3,500 people take treatment everyday, stopped admitting new patients and conducting pathological tests, hundreds of treatment seekers from different areas in the northern region faced problems.

The clinics, however, continued treating the patients who had already been admitted.

The action was taken just after the joint forces led by a magistrate raided four clinics and diagnostic centres and realised a total of Tk 41,000 for unhygienic surroundings and lack of necessary doctors and other staff.

At an emergency meeting yesterday evening, Clinic and Diagnostic Owners' Association (CDOA) President Dr Abdul Mannan said they closed their institutions as giving fines has exhausted them.

He alleged misbehaviour of the law enforcers when they went to Mukti Clinic owned by him.

"We operate with limited doctors, staffs and facilities so that we can survive by charging the minimum from the patients," said Mokhlesur Rahman, CDOA secretary.

"We have shut down our clinics in fear of further raids. There were over 150 clinics and diagnostic centres in the city before the emergency. Due to the drives, number of clinics went has gone down to 60," he said.

"As per the government rules, we have to keep three doctors, six nurses, six ayas and three sweepers for a 10-bed clinic but if we maintain the rules, our monthly expenditure would be much higher than our income," said Dr Arifur Rahman, owner of Cure Nursing Home.

Terming the statements of clinic owners to be baseless, Rajshahi Civil Surgeon Dr Sajjadul Islam said, "If government rules are barrier for their profit, why should they come to the business? Besides, the clinic owners were given warning several times earlier."

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