Jealousy, abuse of power and the whimsical moves of a senior official have upset the treatment of patients at the National Institute of Cancer Research and Hospital (NICRH).
The NICRH's management has become powerless in the face of its Nursing Superintendent Farida Yasmin who allegedly managed to make the Directorate General of Nursing and Midwifery (DGNM) transfer 11 senior nurses from the hospital recently.
"Out of jealousy against 11 senior nurses, the superintended convinced the DGNM to transfer all of them at once," said Dr Rowshon Ara, head of the Radiation Oncology Department at NICRH.
Those senior nurses were in-charge of several important departments and wards at the NICRH.
"Transferring them adversely affected various kind of therapy, which are the most important part of cancer treatment," said Dr Rowshon.
The transferred nurses were working in cancer hospitals for many years and received several trainings at home and abroad. Treating cancer patients is a critical process and those nurses could manage patients well.
"Some other nurses are working in place of the transferred ones, but they are not as well trained and competent as their predecessors," said Dr Rowshon.
She also said the nurses who are getting trained will need more time to be ready to provide the critical cancer treatment like different therapies.
The NICRH Director Dr Qazi Mushtaq Hussain was surprised by the sudden transfer of the senior nurses who were doing very well at the hospital and the management was satisfied with their service.
"I was not even informed about their transfer in advance. I should have been informed beforehand as I am the director of this hospital," said Dr Mushtaq.
However, the NICRH director said he had no power to do anything regarding the matter as the nurses were under a different administrative body – the DGNM.
He said, "After they were transferred, I have verbally requested the director general of the DGNM to reconsider the order."
"If DGNM only delays their transfer for a few months, some other nurses can be trained to take their places," Dr Mushtaq added.
When contacted, Farida Yasmin refused to comment, saying, "I am a government official and cannot say anything in this context."
According to some nurses, Farida often boasted about her power and claimed she could do whatever she wanted.
"All these 11 nurses were senior and were highly praised by the management. The doctors also discussed important issues with them which Farida could not tolerate", added one of the nurses.
Siddika Akter, director general of DGNM, also refused to comment on the matter. She did not respond to this reporter's calls or messages, and did not even talk to him when he went her office.
Md Abdul Mannan, secretary of the health ministry, said, "I am new in this ministry and have not been aware of the matter, but I will look into it."
All the 11 nurses have been transferred to the 250-bed TB Hospital in Shyamoli.