DMCH interns vow to continue work stoppage until demands are met

The intern doctors called the strike on Thursday last week demanding justice for the attack on a fellow intern at the DU campus

Published : 14 August 2022, 09:48 AM
Updated : 14 August 2022, 09:48 AM

At least 200 intern physicians at Dhaka Medical College Hospital continued a work stoppage for the fourth day on Sunday, demanding justice for the attack on a fellow intern at the Dhaka University campus by some yet-to-be-identified men who introduced themselves as DU students.

The attackers, according to the demonstrating DMCH interns, allegedly beat intern Sajjad Hossain, at the Central Shaheed Minar “for no reason” on Aug 8.

Sajjad filed an FIR with Shahbagh Police Station immediately after the attack and the DMCH Intern Doctors’ Council issued a 48-hour ultimatum for the authorities to identify the attackers and take legal steps against them.

The council subsequently called the work abstention on Aug 11 for an indefinite period to protest the “failure of the law enforcement agencies to arrest those who attacked one of their peers” after authorities failed to arrest the perpetrators before their deadline.

On Sunday, none of the intern physicians attended their shifts on the scheduled duty roster and regular and resident physicians were taking care of patients.

Dr Maruf Ul Ahsan, general secretary of the DMCH Intern Doctors' Council, said since there is no visible progress in the police investigation, they are not inclined to withdraw the strike at the moment.

“What we have heard so far is assurances which have not borne fruit. None of the attackers have been identified or taken into custody. That’s why we won’t withdraw our programme,” he said.

Earlier on Friday, authorities at the hospital claimed that the work stoppage had little effect on the hospital’s regular activities.

Brig Gen Md Nazmul Haque, director of Dhaka Medical College Hospital, said the hospital’s operation was running smoothly even with the absence of a large pool of interns, who are considered cogs in the wheel in any Bangladeshi hospital.

“The hospitals have at least 2,500 physicians on the payroll, and a good number of them are trainees or on fellowships. For now, we are using them. So, I won’t say the operation of the hospital was disrupted too much because of the strike,” he said.

He also said the police investigation is taking longer than expected as the victim failed to identify his attackers from a police line-up.

“We are trying everything from our end to resolve the matter as quickly as possible.”

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher