Govt to get tougher on corrupt health officials


The head of the incumbent government Sheikh Hasina reiterated her promise of going tough against corrupt people in the Parliament on Thursday, making it clear that the unscrupulous people involved in different irregularities in the health sector would not be able to roam around scot-free.

“We have been trying our best to check corruption and irregularities since the Awami League assumed office. The drives against the menaces would be continued in the days to come as we cannot tolerate those anymore,” she said in the parliament.

The Leader of the House said it is not a big matter who belongs to which party, adding that her government makes arrests of the corrupt elements irrespective of their political identities.

Singing the same tune ACC boss Iqbal Mahmud warned during a virtual conference held on Friday that the ongoing drive against corrupt officials in the health sector will be intensified further and legal action would be taken against those identified as corrupts in the health sector.

These criminals will be brought to justice for the welfare of the people, Iqbal Mahmud stressed.
Talking to several officials of the DGHS to find out the reasons behind recent corruption, it was learnt that all those involved in various irregularities and corruption, starting from Jobeda Khatun Shastha Seba (JKG) Health Care scam to Regent Hospital incident, were cashing in on the pandemic situation created by coronavirus.

All these corruptions are going on under the very nose of the Director General of DGHS Professor Abul Kalam Azad, sources seeking anonymity told Bangladesh Post.

“He tries his best to protect the corrupt ones. The chain of command in the health sector has somehow broken down due to rampant corruption. No file moves without the signal of the syndicate controlled by the DG.”

Under such circumstances the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has sought explanation from the Health Directorate about how Regent Hospital got approval for Covid-19 treatment when they did not even have a valid license.

In a letter signed by Umme Habiba, senior assistant secretary of the health ministry, on Tuesday, said that the image of the government was tarnished after the Regent Hospital incident.

On the other hand, Health Minister Zahid Maleque told the media that the Directorate General of Health services takes care of the licensing or ensures quality of a hospital. So the Regent Hospital's license was not renewed - that's for them to know. The ministry has asked them to explain the matter.

Former Vice Chancellor (VC) of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) Professor Nazrul Islam told Bangladesh Post regarding scams and scandals in the health sector, “Those involved in such scams should not be given any concession. Their patrons need to be found as well.”

“This would not have been possible without the help of an influential person. The concerned authorities should scrutinize the involvement of any high official.”