He said this while addressing a press briefing at the meeting room of his ministry at the secretariat om Tuesday
The government will take action against the authorities of hospitals that refuse to treat patients, as such inaction by health facilities is a punishable offence, Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud said on Tuesday.
“The hospitals that are refusing to provide health services in this situation are committing punishable offences. I hope no hospitals including private ones will practice such behaviour and instead extend their helping hands to the distressed,” he told reporters while addressing a press briefing at the meeting room of his ministry at the secretariat, reports BSS.
In response to question on private hospitals refusing to provide treatment, the information minister said: “Many doctors, nurses and health service providers are providing health care services while putting their life at risk. I would like to thank and congratulate them. I was hurt when we saw in newspapers and other media outlets that a patient visited six private hospitals one after another in Sylhet, but none provided treatment to the patient. Later, the patient died in the ambulance without treatment.”
“This is really regrettable and this kind of behaviour by hospitals is not acceptable,” added Hasan, also Awami League joint general secretary.
Sounding a note of warning for health facilities who deny medical treatment to patients, the information minister said the government is monitoring these activities.
“The Health Ministry has already said that action will be taken if any hospitals show negligence in providing health care services. The government will take actions soon if such incidents of negligence take place continuously,” he added.
About the recent fire incident at United Hospital, the information minister said fire services in their primary investigation found evidence of the hospital’s negligence.
“The hospital can’t avoid their responsibility for the deaths of five people in that fire incident,” he said.
In response to another query on the ongoing protests in the USA after the death in Minneapolis of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who had been pinned down by a police officer with a knee to the neck, Hasan said: “I don’t want to make any comment on this issue as it is an internal matter of the US. But, as you ask and the US gives statements on any issue of Bangladesh and publishes reports on human rights of other countries every year, the killing of an African-American shows their human rights situation.”
He also said the death rate among African-Americans by police is three times higher than that of white Americans in the US, even though the number of African-Americans is lower.
“Besides, you know that they send back parents who entered the USA illegally, after separating them from their children who were born in America. The children growing up without their parents,” he added.