The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has sent letters to 13 private hospitals in Chittagong seeking specific information and documents after giving notices to two major government hospitals in Chittagong as part of an anti-corruption probe into the medical sector.
ACC Integrated Office Chittagong-2, Chittagong has sent letters to the hospitals in the city- Max Hospital Limited, Medical Center, Imperial Hospital, Surgiscope Hospital Limited, Delta Hospital Limited, USTC Hospital, CSCR Hospital, National Hospital Limited, Asian Hospital Limited, Parkview Hospital, Well Hospital Limited, Ibn Sina Hospital, and Metropolitan Hospital Limited.
There are many allegations against these hospitals for not providing treatment. Many such incidents have resulted in the tragic deaths of many patients. The information that the ACC has sought from these controversial private hospitals includes whether all the documents of the hospitals are correct, whether they have the approval of the Department of Health, environmental clearance, fire safety service. The ACC also sought information on how private hospitals conducted medical services during the Corona period.
There is a lot of criticism against the private hospitals and clinics in Chittagong for depriving people of treatment in the situation caused by the corona virus. Complaints against Dr. Faisal Iqbal and Dr. Liaquat Ali, General Secretary of the Private Hospital Owners' Association and MD of Max Hospital, have always come from various quarters for the suffering of the citizens in getting treatment in private hospitals.
The media, social media, and even various civic organizations have carried out human chain programs to express their grievances against them during the Corona period on the Chittagong highways. There is also a call to arrest them.
Officials of Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) in Chittagong have issued notices to two hospitals besides the Civil Surgeon's Office in Chittagong seeking information on the corruption of Dr Faisal Iqbal Chowdhury in Chittagong.
Earlier, besides the two main hospitals in Chittagong, Chittagong Medical College Hospital and Chittagong Government General Hospital, the ACC also sent notices to the Civil Surgeon's Office.
The ACC has been investigating allegations of extortion, public-private contracting, and transfer and recruitment trade, commission-clinic trade in the Chittagong health sector since last August. Controversial medical leader Dr. Faisal Iqbal Chowdhury is the main person against whom the complaints are made.
Apart from the post of general secretary of the Chittagong branch of the Bangladesh Medical Association (BMA), he is also the health secretary of the Chittagong Metropolitan Awami League. The ACC has also started searching for the unknown assets of Dr Faisal Iqbal.
In the first phase of the investigation, the ACC has summoned the documents of all the projects and procured equipment implemented through tender since 2008 in Chittagong Medical College Hospital, Chittagong Government General Hospital and Civil Surgeon's Office. In addition, a list of manpower employed in the two hospitals through outsourcing in the last 11 years has been sought. On the other hand, the ACC has also summoned all the documents of the blood circulation department and store of CMC Hospital.
Chittagong District Integrated Office-2 Deputy Assistant Director Md Sharif Uddin is in charge of the investigation on behalf of the ACC.
It is learned that earlier this year, various allegations against Dr. Faisal Iqbal's irregularities and corruption were submitted to the ACC. After the verification and selection, the report was sent to the ACC head office in June. The inquiry was then ordered on August 26.
Dr. Faisal has been accused of embezzling funds through recruitment and transfer of doctors at Chittagong Medical College Hospital since 2009, controlling various supply works including food supply and outsourcing business worth crores of tk at Chamek Hospital, anonymous tenders through at least three contractors including Mama's Jamjam Enterprise. There are allegations of embezzling crores of tk anonymously. Dr. Faisal Iqbal is also accused of controlling tenders worth around Tk 42 crore in CMC Hospital for the financial year 2019-2020 alone.