‘Cocaine dealer' treated as VIP
The deputy director of Chittagong Medical College Hospital (CMCH) and three other doctors were made officers on special duty (OSD) allegedly for arranging a VIP cabin to treat an accused in a cocaine-haul case.
The doctors are Diderul Islam, deputy director of CMCH, outdoor medical officers Enamul Hasan and Rajibul Islam and Registrar of Neuro Medicine Ward, Jaman Ahmed.
In an order issued by the Ministry for Health and Family Welfare on July 17, the doctors were transferred to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) in Mohakhali of Dhaka, said sources in CMCH.
The gazette issued, undersigned by AKM Fazlul Haque, joint secretary of the ministry, said the four doctors had been posted in DGHS for administrative reasons, said CMCH sources.
Sources in CMCH said Nur Mohammad, an accused in a cocaine haul case, was being treated in a VIP cabin of the hospital since May 14 last year. He was in the cabin for around nine months, said CMCH sources, adding, as the matter came to light, officials of the Ministry of Health looked into it and later he was sent back to Chittagong Central Jail (CCJ) on February 2.
Earlier, police arrested him on January 15 last year in connection with a case over cocaine haul using an oil-laden container in Chittagong Port on January 6 last year. The container came from Bolivia.
The ministry formed a probe-body headed by a deputy secretary to investigate the matter, said CMCH sources, adding, the committee visited CMCH in March.
Contacted, Mujibur Rahman, jailer of CCJ, said when patients are sent to medical centres from jail, it is the concern of the medical authority as to how the patient would be given treatment.
“We usually discourage keeping patients in a cabin on security grounds unless the patient is a lawmaker or a cabinet member,” he said, adding, “The status of Nur Mohammad does not comply with getting treatment in a VIP cabin.”
Mujibur, however, said there is no written rule regarding who [among the accused in jail] are eligible for getting treatment in a cabin and who are not.
Contacted, Dideraul said he had “no connection” regarding the treatment of Nur Mohammad.
The resident physicians, resident surgeons or the emergency medical officers decided the matter, he said, adding, “My signature was not in any papers in this regard…no recommendation came from me.”
“Despite this, I have been made an OSD,” he said, adding, “I am almost at the end of my service period…only two months are left for my retirement. Now I will have to go to Dhaka and all my retirement benefits would be processed from there.”
He said no specific date was mentioned in the OSD order for joining the new office. “It ordered us to join immediately,” he said.
Contacted, Fazlul said the four doctors were made OSD as per the recommendation of the high powered probe-body of the ministry.
Asked, why the deputy director was made OSD, he said the probe-body investigated the matter and submitted a report to the ministry. “Action has been taken against those who were found involved in this connection by the probe-body,” he said.
Asked whether there are any guidelines regarding a person's eligibility for getting treatment in a cabin, he said an accused in a cocaine haul case cannot be given treatment in a VIP cabin as he is not a VIP.
“Our probe-body looked into all aspects and submitted a report to the ministry and steps have been taken as per their report,” he said.