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Medical negligence on the rise

Published : Thursday, 30 November, 2023 at 12:00 AM  Count : 392

In the heartland of Bangladesh, where urban centers give way to picturesque small towns, a concerning trend is emerging. Medical negligence is on the rise, casting a shadow over the nation's healthcare system. While the country has made significant progress in improving healthcare access in recent years, medical negligence is still a problem in smaller towns and rural areas.

Bangladesh's small towns have long suffered from not enough facilities for providing of high-quality healthcare as well as limited access to it. Sometimes patients receive poor care-sometimes with grave consequences, due to a lack of oversight, insufficient financial resources, and a scarcity of competent healthcare professionals.

One of the most noticeable issues in small towns is the need for more qualified nurses and doctors. These areas' many healthcare facilities usually depend on inexperienced doctors and need additional manpower. Doctors frequently arrive at hospitals inappropriately or at the wrong moment. This problem may lead to incorrect diagnosis, insufficient care, and potentially patient-harming surgical mistakes.

Patients and their families in these places typically face a lack of sincerity and responsibility when things go wrong. An effective reporting and processing system for medical negligence is necessary for patients to seek justice and compensation for the harm they have endured.

Moreover, small-town medical facilities occasionally need to upgrade and improve their equipment and facilities. Making an accurate diagnosis and choosing the best way to proceed with therapy may be more challenging with this outdated medical equipment. Poor standards of cleanliness and hygiene put patients in further danger, increasing the likelihood of hospital-acquired infections.

The financial burden that patients and their families bear is another major issue. Because a lot of doctors are focused on profit businesses, the cost of healthcare might be too high in small areas. Families are stuck in a debt cycle when they often lose their resources or take out loans to cover medical expenses.

There are few provisions in the constitution of Bangladesh exist due to the medical negligence, but many people of the country don't know about the laws. As,  Article 18 of the constitution of Bangladesh talks about public health and morality. Article 32 gives the protection of the right to life and Article 15 talks about Fundamental Principle or the basic necessities of the people of the country. Article 102 of the constitution of Bangladesh has guaranteed for the enforcement of the rights.

Therefore, it's important to stay up to date on the newest developments by consulting legal experts. To obtain compensation, victims must file lawsuits, present proof of the doctor's carelessness, and show that their medical personnel caused them the injury. The goals of compensation are to cover lost wages, cover medical expenses, and take into consideration suffering, both mental and physical. Interestingly, severe fines can be granted to discourage similar offences in the future. For correct assistance, it is essential to consult legal specialists in medical negligence or personal injury. Making a claim as soon as possible guarantees that a significant amount of evidence is still accessible and that can locate witnesses who have a clear memory of the incident. It could get more difficult to support the argument the longer one waits.

Section 23 of the Medical and Dental Council Act of 2010 states that the council has the right to refuse to register a physician or dentist who has been deemed to have acted unethically. In addition, deliberate misbehavior by medical and dental practitioners in the performance of their obligation to their patients may result in suspension or expulsion from the registration, under Section 5(a) of the Code of Medical Ethics.

Recently, the government of Bangladesh acknowledged to these issues and started to take action. In the same way, attempts are underway to improve the quality of healthcare services and increase the population of medical specialists in rural areas. supplying healthcare facilities with enough cleanliness and hygiene standards as well as modern equipment improvements. Implement programs to reduce healthcare expenditures, such paying for the medical expenses of low-income families. However, not much has changed, and there are still a lot of issues.

Collaboration between the government, healthcare facilities, and civil society groups is necessary for preventing medical neglect in small communities. Enabling regulatory bodies to keep an eye on small-town healthcare facilities and enforce treatment standards is necessary. Investments in training programs are necessary to ensure that healthcare workers in rural areas are adequately trained and continually updated on the most recent medical knowledge. Establish methods for patients and their families to file claims for damages and protest medical negligence.  Bangladesh can only hope that by taking such targeted actions, the serious problems surrounding healthcare neglect can be resolved.

The writer is  a student, Department of Law, North-South University

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