Emergency hospital services to road accident victims : HC asks govt to take steps

Staff Correspondent

The High Court on Wednesday asked the Directorate General of Health Service to issue necessary guidelines asking authorities of hospitals, the police and other authorities concerned to provide emergency medical treatment to victims of traffic accidents.
The bench of Justice Moyeenul Islam Chowdhury and Justice Iqbal Kabir also directed the directorate and the roads and bridges ministry to frame the guideline on the operation and management of the emergency medical services.
The guidelines would need to detail how and where an accident victim would lodge complaint in
case of denial of emergency treatment and the punishment for such denial, the order said.
It said that the guideline would need to explain measures to be taken for the protection of people who would come at the help of the victims.
The court also directed the authorities to create public awareness about system of ‘good Samaritans’ through the media.
The secretaries to the health ministry and the roads and bridges division were asked to report the court in three months the steps taken in compliance with the order.
The court passed the interim order asking the government to explain why their failure to provide emergency medical services to people injured in traffic accidents and to protect Samaritans at both public and private hospitals and clinics would not be declared illegal.
The secretaries to the health ministry and roads and bridges division, the director general of health services and the Bangladesh Medical and Dental Council were asked to reply to the ruling in four weeks.
The court passed the order after hearing a public interest litigation writ petition filed by Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust and Syed Saifuddin Kamal, who provided assistance to a victim. The victim was denied of treatment by three hospitals before he succumbed to the injury.
Petitioners’ counsel Sara Hossain, Rashna Imam and Anita Ghazi Islam told the court that denial of immediately treating an accident victim by three hospitals prompted Saifuddin Kamal, a social entrepreneur, to file the petition.
On January 21, Saifuddin with the accident victim went to three nearby clinics but they declined to treat the victim and subsequently the victim was declared dead when he was taken to Kurmitola General Hospital with the help of police.
The victim was identified as bus helper Arafat.

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