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Dhaka Tribune

HC stays order against 14 private medical schools

Update : 04 Mar 2014, 06:30 PM

The High Court has issued a stay order against a directive from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to suspend all academic activities in 13 private medical colleges and one dental college, until the completion of a review of the institutes by inspection teams.

The court issued the order on March 3, based on a writ petition filed by the International Islamic Medical College Hospital of Chittagong.

Dr ABM Abdul Hannan, director (medical education and manpower development) of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), told the Dhaka Tribune: “It is true that the High Court has issued a stay order, but we did not get the full copy of the stay order yet. We will collect the copy of the order and take legal steps to withdraw the stay order given by the court.”

Seeking anonymity, several senior officials of the health directorate said a DGHS team including its director general met with the law minister yesterday to discuss the situation regarding the order.

On January 30, the health ministry issued a circular to suspend all academic activities of newly approved 14 medical and dental colleges, until their inspection was completed.

Earlier, inspection teams – consisting senior officials from the health ministry, the DGHS, universities and Bangladesh Medical and Dental Council – were formed and told to submit reports within a month.

There are allegations that former health minister AFM Ruhal Hoque, just before the end of his tenure, approved the new colleges illegally.

The suspended private medical and dental colleges were Addin Basundhara Medical College, Brahmanbaria Medical College, Shah Makdum Medical College, Care Medical College, United Medical College, Universal Medical College, Advocate Abdul Hamid Medical College, Khulna City Medical College, Park View Medical College, Port City Medical College, US-Bangla Medical College, Kachiruddin Medical College and US Dental College.

Teams of the health ministry are inspecting whether the medical colleges followed the Private Medical College Establishment and Administration Policy 2011 (correctional), and Private Medical College Establishment and Administration Policy 2009.

The Dhaka Tribune has learnt that four inspection teams have finished inspecting all 14 colleges, with a few of them having already submitted inspection reports before the ministry.

Aiyubur Rahman, additional secretary (medical education and manpower development) of health ministry, expressed hopes of getting all the inspection reports by this week, but refused to comment whether the reports would be made public.

A senior official of the ministry, however, said the health minister had earlier asked them to publish the report before the media.

Health Secretary MM Neazuddin told the Dhaka Tribune that a meeting would be held with the minister on this issue after receiving all the inspection reports.

The health ministry has also reportedly formed 18 separate teams to inspect other private medical and dental colleges. Those teams were yet to finish inspection, a ministry official said.

The first private medical college in the country, Bangladesh Medical College, was established in 1985 in Dhanmondi. From 1985 to 2005, only 26 private medical colleges were given permission. Another 56 private medical colleges were approved since 2005.

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