No hotel accommodation: doctors at Kuwait-Bangladesh hospital start sit-in at director’s office

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Medics at the Kuwait-Bangladesh Friendship Government Hospital launched a protest sit-in outside the hospital director’s office, demanding accommodation as they were evicted from a designated hotel on September 23, 2020. Photo: Collected

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Medics at the Kuwait-Bangladesh Friendship Government Hospital launched a protest sit-in outside the hospital director’s office, demanding accommodation as they were evicted from a designated hotel on September 23, 2020. Photo: Collected

Medics at the Kuwait-Bangladesh Friendship Government Hospital launched a protest sit-in outside the hospital director’s office, demanding accommodation as they were evicted from a designated hotel at noon.

Many disgruntled doctors have decided to stay in the warden’s room or in the hallway of the hospital until the authorities provide accommodation.

More than 50 doctors protested. Many of them alleged that the authorities at the Hansa Hotel suddenly told them to leave before noon today.

“Where can we go now? … We decided to go to the [hospital] from the director’s office with our luggage, ”said a hospital chief doctor.

“We put our lives at risk when people are afraid to go out. We have been treating Covid-19 patients from the start and that is how we are rewarded,” said the frustrated doctor.

“We either have to stay in the director’s room or in the hallway of the hospital because even our relatives don’t want to put us up for a single night,” another doctor said.

“Where would our colleagues, whose families live outside Dhaka, stay now? It is the government’s duty to provide our accommodation with transport service and security,” he added.

On July 29, the Department of Health issued a circular stating that the government had decided not to pay hotel bills for health workers, including doctors, who were treating Covid-19 patients and canceled the accommodation at the hotel.

Instead, a doctor in Dhaka will receive a daily allowance of 2,000 Tk and 1,800 Tk outside Dhaka, a nurse will receive a daily allowance of 1,200 Tk in Dhaka and 1,000 Tk outside Dhaka, and an agent of health will receive 800 Tk in Dhaka and 650 Tk. outside of Dhaka, he added.

The circular asked the authorities concerned to apply the order as quickly as possible.

Amid protests, authorities have repeatedly extended the deadline and finally asked them to leave today.

Previously, the authorities had asked the doctors at the hospital to stay in six public establishments in the city.

The doctors then formed an accommodation committee which visited the six establishments but the establishment authorities discouraged them with various excuses, according to the doctors.

“We can only go home after testing Covid-19 negative after completing our to-do list. We have elderly parents, babies at home. Why would I put them at risk? Who will take responsibility if our loved ones are infected through us? ” another doctor asked.

“We don’t want five star accommodation. We just want a decent place to stay after performing our duties,” he said.

When contacted, Dr Sarwar ul Alam, director of the hospital, said he was unable to speak at the moment and hung up.

Earlier on September 19, medics from the Covid-19 unit at Shaheed Suhrawardy Medical College Hospital surrounded the principal’s office for the same reason.


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