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Health sector rife with irregularities

ACC submits report to President

Published : 26 Jul 2020 09:56 PM | Updated : 07 Sep 2020 10:54 PM
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The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has submitted a report on the irregularities pervading the health sector to the President identifying 11 sources of corruption.

The anti-graft monitoring agency has identified 11 sources of corruption entwined with the health sector. They also recommended 25- point remedial measures to eradicate the loathsome anomalies.

Forms of corruption including irregularities in procurement, tenders, services, recruitment, transfer, posting, use of equipment and supply of medicines are highlighted in the report.

The ACC in its recommendations has also urged the President to remove the identified sources quickly.

The ACC sent its recommendations to the ministry first for implementation. 

Fourteen organizations were also blacklisted. But the Ministry of Health has not implemented the recommendations.

People concerned claimed that with his departure    Director General Abul Kalam has left a legacy of various corruptions. He is not alone in this. Rather the whole health sector is involved, it is alleged.     From senior officials to a third-class accountant to the bottom ‘Afzal-network’ spread its vicious influence.

ACC Chairman Iqbal Mahmud said, “We see that various forms of corruption are tarnishing the image of the healthcare system. We have long ago recommended the revamp of the health sector.”

Later we also informed the President through our annual report, he continued.

The report stated, an organized racket has been very active in different hospitals under the Department of Health. An influential quarter in the society has set up a diagnostic centre in collaboration with the Office of the Civil Surgeon without having proper equipment. Even though there are government medicines in the hospitals, those are not offered to the patients. Later the drugs are sold in the black market, according to the report.

Citizen Charter was demanded to be placed before all the departments of the hospitals and Health Department. Besides, for administrative convenience, the ACC made a proposal for dissolving the Department of Health and set up two separate departments called Healthcare and Health Education instead.

The ACC believes that the people of the country would have got some additional services if their recommendations were attended to or if necessary steps were taken in this regard.

Transparency International Bangladesh Chapter Executive Director Iftekharuzzaman told Bangladesh Post that the health department has not yet implemented the ACCs recommendations fully, and if the ministry does not do it, it is tantamount to protecting irregularities and corruption.

He also said the transparency in the health department could start in a new way from now on. Encouraging the establishment of a corruption-free health department would be a rare example in the country, he added.