'The Ministry of Health miserably failed to control and monitor these issues'
A writ petition has been filed with the High Court seeking its directives regarding the authorities concerned, to refund the money collected from patients who were cheated by Regent Hospital in Covid-19 testing and treatment.
Supreme Court lawyer Advocate Ishrat Hasan, also director of rights organization Children’s Charity Bangladesh Foundation (CCBF), filed the writ on behalf of the organization with the HC's virtual vacation bench of Justice Tariq ul Hakim, on Sunday.
Advocate Ishrat Hasan told Dhaka tribune: "Private hospitals are charging patients illegally and arbitrarily. Shockingly, two thirds of hospitals do not have licenses, even though the law requires a valid license to treat people. According to Medical Practice, Private Clinics and Laboratories (Regulatory) Ordinance, 1982, a license is a must to run a private hospital and unlicensed private hospitals are running violating the law.
“The Ministry of Health miserably failed to control and monitor these issues. Rather they contracted with unlicensed hospitals like Regent, which provided fake Covid-19 reports! The Ministry of Health did not even pay back the money owed to victims, let alone provide compensation. Having no other option, I filed this petition," she added.
In addition to refunds, the writ requested that the court order the authorities to publish a list of patients victimized by Regent Hospital and give Tk 25,000 as interim relief to each of them.
Furthermore, the writ asked the court to ensure that a list of hospitals and diagnostic centres with valid licenses to conduct Covid-19 tests and treatment, be published on the Health Ministry and DGHS websites.
The petitioner also asked the court to direct the authorities to form committees at every police station to monitor the activities of hospitals and diagnostic centres treating and testing Covid-19 patients.
The secretaries of the Health and Home Ministries, the director general of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), and chairman of Regent Hospital have been made respondents to the writ.
Earlier on July 19, Barrister Abdul Halim sent a legal notice to the respondents on behalf of Advocate Ishrat, asking for necessary action within 48 hours. However, they did not get a response.