Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina ripped into the doctors who refused to treat patients amid the coronavirus outbreak, citing the death of a Dhaka University student.
She says the government has received specific complaints of negligence of duty by doctors and will consider whether they can continue their jobs.
The government will bring doctors and nurses from abroad, if necessary, Hasina says.
The prime minister was instructing district-level officials of Chattogram and Sylhet divisions on tackling the coronavirus outbreak through video livestream from the Ganabhaban in Dhaka on Tuesday.
She announced a plan to reward doctors, nurses and other health workers in an effort to motivate frontline responders during the crisis.
Hasina also announced insurances for all field workers, reports bdnews24.com.
“Please keep in mind that we will do this for only those who have been working since the beginning,” she said, noting that the epidemic began in China in January and the first cases in Bangladesh were detected in March.
“This incentive is for those who worked in the month of March by risking their lives,” Hasina said.
“And this incentive is not for those who did not work, and fled to protect themselves when other general patients [without coronavirus symptoms] knocked the doors of the hospitals but failed to get treatment. They won’t get it,” she said.
The prime minister said the doctors might give some conditions or ask for something, but the government will first review their work over past three months before giving them what they want.
“I don’t think there is any reason to bring to work those who don’t have an iota of humanity in them. If such a crisis develops, we will bring doctors and nurses from abroad. But we won’t allow such poor attitude in work,” she said.
Hasina also referred to the death of Sumon Chakma, a Dhaka University student who survived cancer but died recently allegedly after doctors denied him treatment at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital, Mugda General Hospital and IEDCR.
“You [doctors] can treat patients by protecting yourselves. Wear your apron, face mask, gloves; use sanitiser, wash hands. But why would patients be turned away? Why would a patient die after rushing from one hospital to another?” Hasina lamented.
She said she wanted to know the names of the doctors who were on duty when Sumon went to the hospitals for treatment.
“They don’t deserve to work as doctor or do other jobs. I think they should be driven out of their jobs,” Hasina remarked.
She said there was no denying that the novel coronavirus has panicked the world. “But the doctors have a duty to perform.”
She noted the government was collecting personal protective equipment for the doctors from foreign and domestic sources. “We are trying all the ways we can. It’s a global problem,” she commented