Don’t let private hospitals go beyond control

The High Court yesterday observed that the authorities concerned of the government should remain cautious so that private hospitals cannot go beyond control.

The authorities should have restrained the owners of some private hospitals from showing their powers, the HC bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim said during virtual hearing of five writ petitions filed seeking necessary orders to ensure treatment of patients at all hospitals.

The bench made the observation in response to a discussion over the Shahabuddin Medical College Hospital’s owners reportedly meeting with the home minister after the law enforcers raided the hospital for irregularities, court sources said.

The court also said duties of mobile court magistrates are to conduct the courts on specific allegations and punish the offenders, but a few of them are talking to the media to justify their actions.The HC judge asked Attorney General Mahbubey Alam to look into the matter.

The attorney general told the HC that the government has taken necessary steps so that the private hospitals run properly.

The court said it did not pass any order against doctors, but its directives are against the hospitals’ irregularities and mismanagement.

At one stage of the hearing, Mahbubey Alam sought time from the HC to submit a compliance report on its July 6 directives.

The court granted the time and asked the government to submit the report by August 16.

During a hearing of the writ petitions, the HC bench on July 6 directed the health secretary and the director general of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) to conduct an enquiry into the reported allegations against some private and government hospitals of denying treatment to patients during the pandemic.

They had been ordered to submit the enquiry report to the HC by July 21.

Yesterday, the DGHS submitted a partial compliance report to the HC through the attorney general and said four-member committees led by civil surgeons have been formed in every district to investigate allegations against hospitals, according to court sources.

On July 6, the HC asked the DG of DGHS to take necessary measures so that the patients, who are deprived of treatment at any hospital, can lodge complaints with the office concerned by email.

It also asked the authorities concerned to take necessary steps so that the patients suffering from serious diseases like cancer and kidney are tested for Covid-19, test reports are provided within 36 to 48 hours, and their treatment is ensured at the hospitals concerned.

The government has also been directed to fix the retail and refilling prices of oxygen cylinders in 10 working days.

People can lodge complaints with the Anti-Corruption Commission if they were charged extra for the oxygen cylinders, the court said.

Jamiul Hoque Faisal and AKM Ehsanur Rahman, two of the writ petitioners, told The Daily Star on July 6 that they have found more than 20 allegations published in newspapers against some government and private hospitals of denying treatment to the Covid-19 and non-Covid-19 patients during the pandemic and submitted a statement containing the reported allegations to the HC.

Aneek R Haque, Mahfuzur Rahman Milon, and Yeadia Zaman also appeared for the petitioners, while Attorney General Mahbubey Alam represented the state. 


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