Illegal health facilities: One of them even served embassies
Located in the capital's upscale neighbourhood of Baridhara, Wahab Medical Practice has been making medical assessments of people travelling to western countries, says its website.
The embassies of the USA and Australia mention on their websites the name of this clinic as an approved healthcare facility where individuals can get their medical assessments required for visa applications.
The clinic's website says it has been in operation for nearly 30 years.
But it was neither found in the government's list of licensed hospitals, nor in the list of hospitals with pending applications for licences.
Officials said the facility had no authorisation from the health directorate and only yesterday it sought licence from the directorate.
Despite repeated attempts, The Daily Star could not reach the high ups of Wahab Medical Practice.
On Wednesday, the DGHS in a meeting decided to shut down all unauthorised healthcare facilities by yesterday afternoon.
As of yesterday evening, 44 facilities sought authorisation from the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).
Officials said multiple unauthorised healthcare facilities were shut down in every district of the country yesterday.
The DGHS is planning to hold a press conference today about the countrywide crackdown on unauthorised private healthcare organisations.
"We wanted to give everybody a strict message. The 72-hour ultimatum has worked very well; they [owners of unauthorised facilities] are now fleeing," Prof Ahmedul Kabir, additional director general of the DGHS, told The Daily Star yesterday.
The DGHS said it was cracking down on healthcare facilities that had not even sought registration or renewal of expired licences.
The deadline for applying for renewal of licence was yesterday afternoon.
Health officials started conducting the countrywide drive since Thursday. In many districts, officials of the unauthorised facilities suspended their services and fled.
"We closed down three facilities, which had no authorisation, and issued an ultimatum to three others to renew their licences. But many others fled as soon as they saw us," said Awliad Hossain, Chuadanga Sadar health and family planning officer.
Yesterday, a health officials in Natore shut down eight unauthorised private healthcare organisations, reports our correspondent.
The facilities include Central Diagnostic Center Padma Clinic, Prime Diagnostic Center, Tamanna Digital Diagnostic Center, Medina Eye Hospital, Eye Clinic and Phaco Center, and Health Care Diagnostic and Consultation Center.
According to the Natore Civil Surgeon Office, there are around 40 unauthorised private healthcare facilities out of 200 in the district.
Health officials in Tangail shut down three healthcare organisations and fined three others yesterday, our correspondent reports.
According to the Tangail Civil Surgeon Office, a total of 181 out of around 300 private clinics and hospitals in the district had no approval.
As per the Medical Practice and Private Clinics and Laboratories (Regulation) Ordinance, 1982, private healthcare service providers must have licence from the DGHS.