Zero tolerance to health sector corruption

The government has adopted a zero-tolerance policy as the country’s health sector is marred by allegations of irregularities, corruption and fraud amid the growing coronavirus outbreak.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina recently told the Parliament that none will be spared if anyone is found involved in corruption over handling the health protective products.

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has already come after the perpetrators and the companies those face the allegations with investigations of the health department’s respective bodies are underway.

On July 1, the ACC, in a notice signed by its Director Mir Mohammad Joynul Abedin Shibly, summoned five traders to appear before its Headquarters on July 8 and on July for interrogation over mask and PPEs corruption allegations.

The five contractors those are summoned by ACC are chairman of JMI Hospital Requisite Manufacturing Ltd Md Abdur Razzak, coordinator (Medical Team) of Tama Construction & Co. Ltd Matiur Rahman, Chairman and Managing Director of Allan Corporation Aminul Islam Amin, Meditech Imaging Limited director Md Humayun Kabir, and International Medical College and Hospital's Chairman, also owner of Lexicon Merchandise and Technocrat Ltd Md Motazzerul Islam Mithu.

The notice said that allegations of irregularities, corruption, and abuse of power have been brought against the officials concerned at the health and family welfare ministry as well as the health department. They supplied low-quality masks, PPEs, and other medical supplies to different hospitals for the treatment of Covid-19 patients.

It is imperative to accept the allegations for the sake of a proper investigation into the allegations of illicit acquisition of assets by embezzling crores of Taka, it added.

The ACC’s investigation got momentum after its boss Iqbal Mahmood warned of sparing no one whoever is involved in corruption in handling the health-protective gears.

On Wednesday, the graft watchdog opened a probe into the charges of irregularities, corruption, and fraud in purchasing health protective items, including N-95 masks, personal protective equipment (PPE), for medical staff at different hospitals.

The ACC has collected details from the health ministry, health department, and central pharmacy to verify the initial information.
The graft watchdog also interrogated chairman of JMI Hospital Requisite Manufacturing Ltd, Md Abdur Razzak, and coordinator (Medical Team) of Tama Construction & Co. Ltd Matiur Rahman with another skipped the quizzing.