Health minister warns pvt hospitals over coronavirus neglect

Health Minister Zahid Maleque on Friday warned the private hospitals and clinics in Bangladesh over their neglect in dealing patients with coronavirus like symptoms. The minister said they have knowledge about the situation and would take necessary steps if the trend does not change.

“We have come to know that some private hospitals and clinics are not providing treatment. I urge them to continue their activities. If not, we’ll take necessary steps,” he said. He also assured them of government’s support with logistics.

 “If you suspect any person with coronavirus, you can test them and contact with the IEDCR. If you find them positive, you can shift them to the designated hospitals with our help and hotline numbers support,” he said while warning against neglect.

 This is the first time the health minister issued a soft warning to the private hospitals who have been denying patients with other illnesses only because of fever or cough symptoms.

Earlier on April 1, a high level meeting of the health ministry with the presence of the representatives of the Bangladesh Medical Association and Bangladesh Private Medical Practitioners Association issued a directive to the private medical facilities to give treatment to the coronavirus suspects.  After that meeting, the government also asked doctors who stopped private practice to reopen their chamber with proper personal protective equipment (PPE). 

They also asked the private medical colleges not to bar patients with fever and cough.  The health minister assured them of adequate stocks of Personal Protective Equipment and test-kits.

 He urged all to come forward and test if needed.  “It’s very important to test everyone with symptoms to detect coronavirus infection. I urge everyone to come forward and get tested. It’ll protect you as well as your family,” he said.

 The minister asked media to refrain from spreading ‘false’ news. “Many media are giving misleading news, spreading rumours. This is disrupting the government work. We call on the media to provide positive news without creating panic,” he said.