The death of schoolboy after being refused treatment from as many has four hospitals in the metropolitan city of Khulna on Tuesday has cone as a great shock not only to his parents but also to all people. The schoolboy, Rifat, was suffering from liver cirrhosis died without treatment on Tuesday afternoon after he was turned away by four hospitals. Son of Mohammad Kashem, Rifat was a resident of Khalishpur Housing Bihari camp no-1.
According to reports he was taken to Khulna Medical College Hospital around 2:30 pm after his condition deteriorated. “But the authorities there refused to admit him saying there was no doctor,” his grandfather Kalimuddin said. He was given medicine and the family was asked to take him there again on Wednesday.
Later, Rifat was taken to the Khalispur Clinic but was denied admission. The helpless family took Rifat to the Surgical Hospital from where doctors advised them to take the boy to Moylapota Hospital but he was denied admission there too. Rifat died in the evening without receiving treatment, said Kalimuddin.
A number of reports of hospitals refusing treatment to patients coming with cough and cold or fever have surfaced through newspapers, television channels and the social media depicting heart-rending details. In most cases, doctors are reported to be cautious about their own safety and refuse to attend patients suspecting them to be Covid-19 cases.
On the one hand, the attending doctors do not have Personal Protective Equipment to use and attend patients by overcoming fear; on the other, almost all the hospitals do not have coronavirus isolation units to refer patients to. But the point is all cough, cold and fever patients are not necessarily Covid-19 cases. This is the period of transition to hot humid weather from months of pleasant cold weather and many people catch cough and cold due to rapid variations in day and night temperature.
Before the advent of the coronavirus emergency, the situation was different. Take or examine as many patients as you can because this promises income. But now personal safety has become the prime concern of doctors, paramedics and other hospital staff. The solution to this lies in the change of their mindset which can be achieved only by supplying them with PPEs.
But why Rifat was refused treatment is something that needs to be resolved through a proper inquiry. A liver cirrhosis patient he should not have had symptoms of cough and cold or fever. The schoolboy by seeing this neglect to him might have died before his normal death. Who knows? The mental agony that his parents suffered from Tuesday till the death of Rifat and after is beyond description. Doctors and hospital management should be ashamed of the treatment they meted out to Rifat and his family.
Mostafa Kamal Majumder