The High Court has issued a rule asking authorities why a directive should not be issued to keep hospitals smoking-free as per law.
The bench of Justices Salma Masud Chowdhury and Zafar Ahmed issued the order on Monday on hearing a writ petition.
The health secretary, director general of health directorate and authorities of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) hospital, Shahid Suhrawardy Medical College and Hospital, and Government Employees’ Hospital will have to reply to the rule in four weeks.
Four NGOs — Dhaka Ahsania Mission, Ubinig, EC Bangladesh and Pragya — filed the petition.
Advocate Shahdin Malik argued for the petitioners while Deputy Attorney General Md Mokhlesur Rahman stood for the state.
Rahman said the court also issued an interim order and the rule was meant for all hospitals.
The three hospitals were ordered to report on what they did to keep hospitals free of smoking under sections 4 and 6 of Tobacco Product Control Rules-2006 and build mass awareness, Rahman said.
Dhaka Ahsania Mission’s Deputy Director Iqbal Masud said they had recently conducted a survey on five hospitals.
The hospitals are BSMMU hospital, Shahid Suhrawardy Medical College and Hospital, Government Employees’ Hospital, Shishu Hospital and BIRDEM.
They observed that people were smoking at all the hospitals.
“Even we saw people smoking near an operation theatre at the Shishu Hospital.
“Many shops were set up inside the Shahid Suhrawardy Medical College and Hospital to cater the demand,” Masud said.
He said they did not find ‘no-smoking sign’ in any of the hospitals.
Masud said they had sent legal notice after the survey.
“Shishu Hospital and BIRDEM moved to implement the law but the others did not. That’s why we have filed the writ petition,” he said.
Source: Bd news24