RAJSHAHI, July 04: Brokers and agents of some clinics, diagnostic centres and private hospitals of the city are active in 'capturing' patients and diverting them from the government hospitals to private ones in the name of better treatment. They are mainly active at Laxmipur, C&B and Ghosepara area of the city.
These agents are more active now than ever before.
According to sources, every day several hundred agents are seen standing in front of the Rajshahi Medical College Hospital (RMCH) and other government-run city hospitals. They mainly target the villagers.
They provide the poor villagers with wrong information about doctors and collect patients for their designated clinics and doctors.
Some doctors and clinics appoint them for collecting patients and pay them some commission. The agents convince the poor, illiterate patients and their attendants to go with them.
In front of Outdoor ward of a governmentt hospital, an agent named Hafizur (25) was waiting for patients. He was enquiring every visiting patient and their attendants about the purpose of their visit to the Outdoor.
Abdul Hannan of Pirijpur village under Godagari upazila said he came to consult a doctor for his treatment of hypertension and headache. Hafizur told him that the interns of the hospital prescribe medicine for the patients at the Outdoor and he would get a better treatment and would be able to consult a specialist physician at a minimum fee at a renowned diagnostic centre in Luxmipur area. He then handed over a visiting card of the clinic to Hannan.
In such way the agents at various places of the hospital convince the patients not to take treatment at the government hospitals.
Sometimes the agents tell the attendants or the relatives of the patients that the doctor is out of station and, if they want, they would take them to a better doctor. Sometimes they say if the patient wants, they can take him to the head of certain department of RMCH and the doctors on duty at the Outdoor. Actually those doctors have no higher or special degree and they are only MBBS degree holders.
Sources said a woman agent sits in front Medicine Department of RMCH Outdoor. The woman tells every patient that the doctor is busy and the patients can consult him in his private chamber.
Many agents move to every ward of the hospital and convince the patient's relatives that the hospital is not good enough for their patient's treatment, they have addresses of good clinics, and if they want good treatment of their patients, they should be admitted to those clinics.
Director of RMCH in this connection said, the RMCH authorities have already formed a strong committee to eradicate these illegal agents who capture the poor patients and divert them to many illegal clinics and unskilled doctors.
Hospital sources, however, said despite measures taken by the authorities of RMCH, the agents are still very active in capturing patients from the hospital and admit them to various private clinics and sub-standard private hospitals.