DGHS claims health ministry high-ups directed it to sign Regent Hospital MoU

RAB conducts drive at Regent Hospital, Dhaka
RAB conducts drive at Regent Hospital, DhakaSazid Hossain

Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) has claimed that it took initiative to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Regent Hospital as per directives from the top authorities of the health ministry.

DGHS came up with the claim on Saturday in a press statement. The statement was made to clarify DGHS’ stand about the fraudulence of Regent Hospital owner Md Shahed and JKG Group.

The DGHS press release claimed that its director general never met Shahed except for seeing him in some talk-shows on television. But Shahed visited DGHS several times after the signing of MoU.

DGHS in the statement also claimed that it was not aware of the fraudulent activities of Shahed and his clinics.

As COVID-19 patients were increasing in the month of March, DGHS signed the MoU with Regent Hospital, thinking that it would inspire other private hospitals to step up to treat coronavirus patients, according to the statement.

The DGHS also said, although the two branches of Regent Hospital had expired licences, it signed the MoU and gave it permission to treat coronavirus patients on condition of renewing the licences on 21 March.

The DGHS in its letter claimed that it was unaware of the fraudulent activities of Shahed and his clinics.

The DGHS press release claimed that its director general never met Shahed except for seeing him in some talk-shows on television. But Shahed visited DGHS several times after the signing of MoU.

The DGHS came to know about the allegations against Regent Hospital through intelligence and some other sources. RAB conducted a drive on 6 July in presence of the DGHS officials and found the hospital was involved in gross irregularities, including the sale of fake COVID-19 certificates, it added.

It also said the DGHS, with help of law enforcers, has intensified drives in different private hospitals, clinics and diagnostic centres and such drives will continue.

About the fraudulence of volunteer organisation Jobeda Khatun Health Care (JKG), the DGHS said the company’s chief coordinator Ariful Chowdhury’s event management organisation Oval Group got a contract for DGHS’ healthcare week in 2018.

DGHS press release also said JKG Group’s Ariful went to DGHS with a proposal to set up booths and collect samples of coronavirus patients following the South Korea model.

The collected samples would be sent to PCR laboratories of DGHS and the government would not have to pay anything for it, the DGHS said.

The DGHS accepted the proposal as it seemed fine, considering the need to increase the number of tests, the press release added.

But after allegations of providing fake COVID certificates surfaced against the JKG group, DGHS revoked the permission, it read.

The press release added that DGHS did not have any idea that JKG would resort to fraudulence.

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