DGHS directs Regent Group to shut down its hospital branches in Dhaka

DGHS directs Regent Group to shut down its hospital branches in Dhaka

The Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) has directed the authority of Regent Hospital to close the Uttara and Mirpur branches of its hospital immediately.

"We have asked them to close the hospitals immediately," Aminul Hasan, director (hospital) of DGHS said, adding that, "Patients of those hospital would be shifted to the hospital in Bashudhara. If necessary, patients will be shifted to Kuwait Bangladesh Friendship Hospital."

The move comes after the head office of Regent Group and its hospital in Dhaka's Uttara were sealed off on charges of issuing fake Covid-19 test certificates and collecting money from Covid-19 patients.

A mobile court led by Executive Magistrate Sarwoer Alam conducted a drive there today and sealed off the office and the hospitals after they found proof of the anomalies.

"We have decided to seal off the head office from where the misdeeds were being carried out. The patients of the hospital have already been shifted elsewhere," Sarwoer.

During a drive yesterday, 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.

Magistrate Sarwoer said the hospital authorities so far issued more than 10,000 Covid-19 test results. Around 4,200 samples were tested in different government labs. But they threw away rest of the samples, prepared fake reports and issued those to patients without testing, he told The Daily Star yesterday.

The hospital authorities took Tk 3,500 for each test, meaning they embezzled more than Tk 3.5 crore, despite having agreement with the government to conduct tests and provide treatment free of cost, Sarwoer 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 yesterday's drive.

"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 buck 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.

A case will be filed against the chairman, managing director, some other top officials and staffers involved in the crime, Sarwoer said.

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 has been taking money and collecting samples for Covid-19 test from suspected patients by identifying themselves as Regent Hospital staff.

"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.