Scores of physicians and other healthcare professionals have contracted Covid-19 and many of them died from the coronavirus due to corruption, arbitrariness and a lack of coordination of the health ministry and health directorate at the beginning of the outbreak, according to the Bangladesh Medical Association (BMA).
And now a circular issued by the ministry has taken all doctors in the country by shock and surprise, the association said.
Claiming that doctors are aggrieved at such directive which goes against the principles of medical science, the largest association of doctors in the country has demanded that the circular be withdrawn immediately.
The BMA made these demands in a letter written to the health minister on Wednesday.
The health ministry on July 29 issued a circular saying that the government would not bear the accommodation expenses in residential hotels for doctors and other health workers engaged in treating Covid-19 patients. At the same time, the ministry also discarded doctors' accommodation facility in designated hotels.
Earlier on April 12, the government had designated 19 hotels for the accommodation of doctors, nurses, and health workers who were rendering services to coronavirus patients.
Addressing the health minister, BMA President Mostafa Jalal Mohiuddin and General Secretary Ehteshamul Huq Choudhury in their letter to the health minister said doctors in the country have been rendering healthcare services since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak last March.
"However, whenever the country's healthcare system keeps in normal pace, some unexpected and unscientific order, circular and directive issued by your ministry destabilises the overall situation, and a vested quarter deviously puts doctors on the defensive in front of the people or the government.
"In continuation of this, the circular issued by the health ministry has taken us by shock and surprise. All physicians in the country are offended by this directive that goes against the principles of medical science or the guidelines of the World Health Organisation."
Some 3,000 doctors have thus far contracted the coronavirus and 70 of them have died due to many wrong measures undertaken by the health ministry and the health directorate, the BMA said in its letter, adding, "We reject the unscientific circular regarding the work hour and quarantine and request its withdrawal."
The letter also suggested finding a scientific solution by having discussions with representatives from the BMA.
In this critical period for the nation, doctors do not want any special allowance, or accommodation in some star-marked hotels, or some special food, the BMA leader said in the letter.
"We want to carry on our duty adopting the safest means possible. Therefore, we request (you) to take up necessary measures in this regard immediately," they said.
The association also stressed that everyone has to act responsibly so that no more doctors contract the coronavirus or die from it, which might also cause infections and death to their family members, because of the circular.