The High Court yesterday directed the government to immediately shut down 14 private hospitals and clinics in Dhaka's Mohammadpur as they do not have any valid licence.
Director General of Directorate of Health Services and executive magistrate concerned of Rapid Action Battalion have been ordered to close operation of the medical centres on Babar Road, Khilji Road and Humayun Road.
The HC bench of Justice Sheikh Hassan Arif and Justice Ahmed Sohel passed the order and issued the rule following a writ petition filed by Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh.
Advocate Ripan Barai filed the petition on its behalf as public interest litigation on September 10 following a report published in the daily Bonik Barta on April 20 under the headline, “Non-government hospitals in the capital: 26 hospitals within 500 meters; 14 of them illegal”.
The report said those hospitals and clinics do not have valid documents for operations, sufficient staff, doctors, nurses and surgical instruments. Their businesses are run relying on some middlemen.
It also added that many government doctors see patients there since they either own these health centres or have chambers there.
The establishments are -- BDM Hospital and Diagnostic Center; Sebika General Hospital; Jonoseba Nursing Home And Diagnostic Center; Life Care Nursing Home; Royal Multispecialty Hospital; Nawab Siraj ud-Daulah Manoshik and Madokashakto Hospital; Manmita Mental Hospital; Plazma Medical Service and Clinic; Shefa Hospital and Diagnostic Centre; Islamia Mental Hospital; Crescent Hospital and Diagnostic Complex; Makkah Madina General Hospital and Diagnostics; New Well Care Hospital and Bangladesh Trauma Specialized Hospital.
In the petition, the writ petitioner said the respondents have failed to take steps against the authorities concerned of the hospitals and clinics, although they (respondents) are experienced public servants and very much aware of government rules and instructions.
The HC also issued a rule asking respondents to explain in four weeks why their failure and inaction to do so should not be declared illegal.
Secretaries to the health service division and medical education and family welfare division of the health ministry, DG of Directorate of Health Services, chairperson and vice-chairperson of Bangladesh Medical and Dental Council, commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, chief executive officer of Dhaka North City Corporation, executive magistrate concerned of Rab and officer-in-charge of Mohammadpur Police Station have been made respondents to the rule.
The court also asked the respondents to show causes why they should not be directed to take appropriate legal actions against those responsible for operating the medical centres.
Advocate Manzill Murshid appeared for the petitioner while Deputy Attorney General Mokhlesur Rahman represented the government.