The organization issued the demand justice notice to ensure the treatment for all patients at all private and government hospitals
Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST) has issued a demand justice notice to the secretary of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) and the director of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) to take immediate steps to enforce the directives issued by DGHS to ensure treatment of all patients – Covid and non-Covid – at all private and government hospitals and clinics.
The directives were issued on May 11 and May 24, a press release from BLAST read.
BLAST also demanded DGHS to take action against the private hospitals and clinics that have violated the directives by refusing to treat patients and/or cooperate in transferring suspected Covid-19 patients to hospitals designated for the testing and treating Covid-19.
The organization also asked DGHS to widely disseminate both the directives and the lists of designated hospitals for testing and treating Covid-19 patients through an official gazette.
They issued the demand notice after noticing different media reports that certain private hospitals and clinics have refused to treat patients without Covid-19 test results in the last few weeks.
According to the directives, all private and government hospitals cannot refuse treatment to patients, Covid-19 or otherwise. If they don’t have the necessary equipment they have to refer the patients to an appropriate hospital.
Despite the Directives, as evident from media reports, several private hospitals and clinics have already violated and are continuing to violate the directives by refusing to treat patients without a Covid-19 test result and also by refusing to cooperate in any other way including arranging transfer to a hospital designated for testing and/or treating patients with Covid-19 symptoms.
Further, despite the widely reported cases of non-compliance by private hospitals and clinics, DGHS has, till date, failed to take any action against these hospitals or take any step whatsoever to enforce the directives.
Following this failure to enforce the above-mentioned directives which amount to a violation of the fundamental rights of patients under Article 27, 31, 32, and 44 of the Constitution of Bangladesh, Barrister Rashna Imam, advocate, Supreme Court of Bangladesh issued the Demand Justice Notice on behalf of BLAST to take necessary steps within seven days.