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By FutureLaw Desk

A Division Bench of the High Court Division (HCD) of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh directed the government to ensure emergency medical services to road accident victims at all medical centers across the country.

The HCD Bench of Justice Syed Refaat Ahmed and Justice Farid Ahmed delivered the verdict today after hearing of the case Syed Saifuddin Kamal and another vs. Bangladesh and others (Writ Petition No. 1509 of 2016). The court also ordered the health ministry to issue a gazette notification promulgating the guideline titled as “সড়ক দুর্ঘটনায় আহত ব্যক্তির জরুরি স্বাস্থ্যসেবা নিশ্চিতকরণ ও সহায়তাকারীকে সুরক্ষা প্রদান নীতিমালা ২০১৮” which aims to ensure emergency medical service to road crash victims and also protecting the people who voluntarily help the victims without expecting award or any financial assistance.

Modifying the guidelines formulated by the health ministry this year, the HCD said the ministry will have to issue the gazette notification in two months after receiving the copy of the judgement.

Background of the case

The writ petition was filed in February 2016, following a NEWS REPORT published on The Daily Star on January 24, 2016 narrating how three private hospitals of Dhaka had refused to provide treatment to a Arif, a transport worker before his death caused by an accident. The HCD directed the government to take necessary steps for providing emergency medical services to all critically injured persons at the government hospitals and private clinics across the country by a rule dated on February 10, 2016. The court also asked health secretary to formulate guidelines for management of such emergency services and for measures to create public awareness of such services through print and electronic media. Accordingly, The health ministry recently submitted the guidelines titled as “সড়ক দুর্ঘটনায় আহত ব্যক্তির জরুরি স্বাস্থ্যসেবা নিশ্চিতকরণ ও সহায়তাকারীকে সুরক্ষা প্রদান নীতিমালা ২০১৮” to the HCD through the attorney general’s office. 

In today’s hearing, Barrister Rashna Imam, Barrister Anita Gazi Rahman and Advocate Sharmin Akter appeared for the petitioners while Deputy Attorney General Kazi Zinat Hoque represented the government.