It has asked the health directorate for a list of private hospitals, clinics and diagnostic centres that have renewed their licenses, and those that have not
The health ministry has taken several strict measures in the wake of irregularities in coronavirus testing and treatment across the country.
It has asked the Directorate General of Health Services to explain how Shahabuddin Medical College Hospital was given permission to conduct tests without having its license renewed, and without an on-the-spot inspection of the facility.
It has also asked the health directorate for a complete list of private hospitals, clinics and diagnostic centres that have renewed their licenses, and those that have not.
In another measure, the Health Services Division has written to civil surgeons in all districts to carry out instant investigations and take legal action, in collaboration with deputy commissioners, against hospitals, clinics and diagnostic centres in districts and upazilas involved in testing scams.
Seeking anonymity, an additional secretary to the ministry told The Business Standard the ministry had become strict in the wake of the Regent Hospital, JKG Healthcare and Shahabuddin hospital testing scams.
The scams involved embezzling large sums of money by providing fake test reports, and forcing non-infected people to take hospital treatment by giving reports that showed they had tested positive for Covid-19.
The additional secretary said the health directorate has responsibility in these incidents, because it should have inspected private facilities before permitting them to conduct tests.
"The health directorate has mentioned the oral directive of former health secretary Asadul Islam in the Regent Hospital case. But it cannot avoid responsibility for permitting JKG Healthcare and Shahabuddin hospital to conduct tests."
A letter signed by Health Services Division's Senior Assistant Secretary Umme Habiba was sent to the health directorate's director general on July 21. It asked for an explanation on why Shahabuddin hospital was permitted to conduct testing.
Professor Dr Abul Kalam Azad submitted his resignation as the director general of the health directorate to the public administration ministry that day.
The Health Services Division's letter said allegations against Shahabuddin hospital of coronavirus antibody testing and providing fake reports without testing were found to be true.
It said the health directorate permitted five private centres, including Shahabuddin hospital, to conduct testing without on-the-spot inspections and before the facilities had finished taking all the preparations.
RAB shut down Shahabuddin hospital after a raid on Sunday.
Govt to remove health directorate Director Aminul Hassan
Meanwhile, health directorate's Director for Hospital and Clinic Dr Aminul Hassan is being removed from the position, confirmed several sources from the health ministry and the directorate.
A number of health ministry officials, on condition of anonymity, said final papers for the removal of Aminul had already been submitted to Health Minister Zahid Maleque.
A circular will be issued in this regard after the minister signs the papers.
There had been discussions about the removal of Aminul throughout Wednesday, but no circular was issued till the filing of this report.