The Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) yesterday directed the authorities of Regent Hospital to shut their Uttara and Mirpur branches immediately over their alleged involvement in issuing fake Covid-19 certificates and taking money from coronavirus patients for treatment.
Earlier in the day, a mobile court sealed off the head office and Uttara branch of the private hospital.
"We have issued the directives following allegations that surfaced after the mobile court drives," Aminul Hasan, director (hospital) of the DGHS, told The Daily Star last night .
"Patients of those hospitals would be shifted to a hospital in the capital's Bashundhara area. If necessary, patients would be shifted to Kuwait-Bangladesh Maitree Hospital," he said.
The mobile court, led by Executive Magistrate Sarwoer Alam, carried out the drive for the second straight day.
Magistrate Sarwoer said the hospital authorities issued more than 10,000 Covid-19 test results. Around 4,200 samples were tested at different government labs, but they threw away the rest of the samples, prepared fake reports and handed those to people, he told The Daily Star.
During a drive on Monday, Rab detained eight staffers of Regent Hospital, including a director and its manager, on charges of issuing fake Covid-19 test certificates and collecting money from patients.
The hospital authorities took Tk 3,500 for each test, meaning they embezzled more than Tk 3.5 crore, despite having an agreement with the government on conducting tests and providing free treatment, Sarwoer said.
While talking to reporters during a briefing last evening, he said, "We decided to seal off the head office from where the misdeeds were being carried out. Samples, collected from different areas, used to be taken to the head office and thrown away."
"The licence of the hospital expired in 2014. The ICU of the hospital is not up to standard, it was like a ward. We found surgical items, which expired five to six months ago, at the hospital's medicine store," he said.
"We first received complaints about 14 fake reports provided by the hospital. We carried out the raid after the Institute of Public Health certified that those were fake," Sarwoer said, adding they seized 45 fake reports during Monday's drive.
The chairman and managing director of the hospital went into hiding. A case will be filed soon against 17 people, including the duo, he said.
"As the hospital authorities came to know that some people made complaints, they held a press conference a couple of days ago and filed a general diary against some staffers to pass the blame on them and avoid legal action," he said.
Rab officials said the hospital authorities were supposed to treat patients free of cost as per the agreement with the government, but they charged patients and submitted a bill to the government.
Earlier, the hospital's Managing Director Mizanur Rahman filed a general diary with Uttara West Police Station on July 3, claiming that a vested quarter was taking money and collecting samples for Covid-19 test from suspected patients by identifying themselves as Regent Hospital staffers.
"Such activities are tarnishing the reputation of the hospital's dedication in providing medical services to patients," he added in the GD, requesting law enforcers to look into the matter.