Irregularities grip Maa O Shishu Hospital
The executive committee (EC) of Chittagong Maa O Shishu Hospital, a charity and largest specialised hospital for the children in the region, is allegedly carrying out its activities at will, violating the constitution of the organisation, sources said.
The EC elected for 2005-2007 has extended its tenure to one more year at the annual general meeting in 2006 without any quorum. Only few members of over 5000 were present, sources said.
It amended the constitution without approval of the Social Welfare Department, which is mandatory for running an organisation, sources added.
Lack of transparency in floating tender and giving work to construction firms for development by the committee was also reported.
Sources said a canteen named Safa Marwa, a telephone booth and a pharmacy for patients of the 450-bed hospital on the hospital compound, are being run by different traders without any tender.
Besides, construction work of gynaecology and medicine wards on the second floor of the hospital in 200506 fiscal year and a medical laboratory and extension of the medical college on the third floor in 2007-08 fiscal year was done reportedly without tenders.
The committee also increased the fees of a life-member of the hospital to Tk 5,000 from Tk 2000 without ensuring rights of vote of 103 life member-cum-employees only to retain their supremacy over the hospital, alleged the sources.
The previous committee (2003-2005 session) imposed a rule withdrawing the right of votes of the life member-cum-employees just before the election in 2005, they said.
The changes that contradict the hospital constitution were made without approval of the social welfare department, they added.
A life member filed a case with the Second Assistant Judges Court, Chittagong on May 27 accusing 19 people of trying to hold the election on June 7 violating rules and constitution.
According to deposition of the case, the plaintiff Mohammad Abu Bakar (life member No 5273) alleged that the committee extended its tenure and plotted the election excluding the life member-cum-employees in a bid to ensure their win.
The June 7 election was postponed as the court issued a temporary injunction on holding the election before settling the matter.
Chittagong District Social Welfare Department formed a five-member committee on May 11 to investigate into the matter when Bakar lodged a complaint in this regard with it on April 17.
When asked about the irregularities in construction work, the executive committee General Secretary Dr Anjuman Ara Islam said everything has been done according to the rules of the hospital without any elaboration.
In this regard, Chittagong Social Welfare Department Deputy Director Halima Akhtari said they have not gotten any complaint about irregularities in the hospital.
On approval of the amendments, Halima said she is to see the documents to bring any comment on the issue as she is now in the capital to attend a workshop.
She said the probe committee has submitted its report on holding election of the executive committee of the hospital. But, she refused to talk on the report.
The hospital started its journey in Agrabad area in the port city with a view to providing services to the children and promoting child healthcare through immunisation, nutrition and healthcare education programmes in 1979.
To contribute more to the healthcare services, it began treatment of general people in 2004.
The fund to run the hospital comes through donations by the generous and philanthropic personalities and some pharmaceuticals and multinational companies. Anybody can become a life member of the hospital donating a bed for Tk 1 lakh. Besides, there is a zakat fund for helping the poor patients of the hospital.