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Dhaka Tribune

Suhrawardy Covid-19 unit doctors demand accommodation

Covid-19 unit doctors give 48-hour ultimatum citing the risk they pose on their families

Update : 19 Sep 2020, 06:40 PM

Doctors on duty at the Covid-19 unit of Shaheed Suhrawardy Medical College Hospital have given a 48-hour ultimatum to the hospital authorities in demand of safe accommodation.

The incident took place at the hospital on Saturday.

They surrounded the rooms of Director Prof Uttam Kumar Barua, Deputy Director Dr Mamun Morshed and Medical College Vice-Chancellor and Covid-19 Unit Coordinator Prof Shahadat Hossain Ripon. 

However, the director general of the health department said he had nothing to do with it. The ministry has officially canceled doctors’ quarantine, reports Bangla Tribune. 

Several doctors working at the Covid-19 unit said they were not given hotel rooms nor did the authorities arrange any accommodation; they cannot put their family at risk by going back home every day after duty.

Several doctors, who did not want to be named, said that they have to finish their duty everyday and go home. Many family members of several doctors have been infected through them, and the fathers and fathers-in-laws of three doctors have also died. 

However, there has not been any solution. The doctors said, if there is no solution from the authorities within 48-hours, they will no longer do duty in the Covid-19 unit. But they are willing to work in the other units of the hospital, said the protesting doctors. 

The doctors said, when the room of Director of the hospital Prof Dr Uttam Kumar Barua was surrounded, he called the Director General of the Department of Health Prof Dr Abul Basar Mohammad Khurshid Alam, but he could not give any solution.

Besides, the doctors submitted a memorandum to the hospital director signed by about 65 doctors.

The Director of the hospital Prof Uttam Kumar Barua said: "We have informed the doctors that we will inform the higher authorities about their demands. I have already spoken to the director general of the health department and will inform the ministry too.

"Doctors have given us a 48-hour ultimatum to resolve their housing issue," he said.

In fact, after the outbreak of coronavirus, on April 12, the Department of Health determined 19 hotels to accommodate doctors, nurses, and health workers of six hospitals in the capital.

However, on July 29, according to a circular signed by Secretary of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Abdul Mannan, the ministry had decided not to pay the hotel bills of the health workers including the doctors engaged in the treatment of coronavirus patients. At the same time, they canceled the hotel facilities allotted for doctors.

According to the circular, a doctor on duty in the capital Dhaka will get a daily allowance of Tk2,000 and Tk1,800 outside Dhaka, a nurse will get an allowance of Tk1,200 in Dhaka and Tk1,000 outside Dhaka and a health worker will get Tk800 in Dhaka and Tk650 outside Dhaka.

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