He deserves to be punished to the fullest letter of the law
It is good to see that Regent Hospital Chairman Mohammad Shahed, aka Shahed Karim, has been taken into custody by Rapid Action Battalion, after it was revealed that he was involved in providing fake Covid-19 certificates and embezzling money from patients. For several weeks now, Shahed has been absconding, with some 56 cases pending against him.
However, the task at hand does not end with the nabbing of one perpetrator.
Shahed’s actions were unconscionable, and he deserves to be punished to the fullest letter of the law. He not only defrauded vulnerable people, causing untold pain, misery, and illness, but also caused serious damage for Bangladeshi citizens in foreign lands by tarnishing our image and credibility. These crimes are difficult to quantify, but Shahed must be made to answer for each and every one of them.
However, we cannot ignore the larger systemic problem, of which Shahed is only a part. This arrest would have been a greater victory if Shahed’s arrest meant the end of fake certificates, or corruption and embezzlement in the health sector.
Sadly, that is not the case. As bad as Regent Hospital’s actions were, the question must be asked: Why was the institution allowed to carry on such unethical activities for so long, with little to no oversight.
A facility such as Regent should never have gained a medical contract with the government to provide services of any sort at any time, let alone during a pandemic, when the stakes are so high.
Shahed’s arrest is welcome news, but it should be treated as just the beginning -- the beginning of a mission to root out corruption from our medical sector. If we fail to step up to this task, our efforts to fight the Covid-19 pandemic will prove futile.