April 24, 2024, 9:33 am

Shaheed Suhrawardy Hospital: Tk 4.60 cr misused in the name of purchasing

  • Update Time : Saturday, October 31, 2020
  • 248 Time View
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Staff Correspondent

The investigation report, which revealed the evidences of misusing at around Tk 4.60 crore in the name of purchasing lights for the ‘Operation Theatre’ (OT) of Shaheed Suhrawardy Medical College and Hospital, has not been seen the light in the last nine months due to unknown reasons that raises questions.

Agitation has been created among the honest and sincere doctors, nurses, staffs and employees of the hospitals as well as the members of civil society. They apprehended that the effort to cover-up the matter is going on with a view to protect the corrupt officials.

Corruption, mismanagement and irregularities have now become a regular phenomenon in the hospital due to lack of proper supervision by the authorities concerned.

The corruption of the hospital in the name of purchases has been exceeded the pillow scam of Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant Project and even purchasing a screen of the ICU Department of the Faridpur Hospital at a cost of Tk 37 lakh.

In this case, the price of a light for OT at Shaheed Suhrawardy Medical College Hospital has showed at Tk 80 lakh. The anomalies occurred for negligence of the concerned market price verification committee in which the government incurred loss at Tk 4,59,64,000.

Meanwhile, the probe body recommended for filing separate departmental cases against five persons including Director of the Hospital Prof. Dr Uttam Kumer Barua.

The four others, who were members of the market price verification committee and highly responsible for the price evaluation are: Dr Soumitra Sarker, Associate Professor of Neurosurgery Department, Dr Raton Das Gupta, Head of the Nephrology Department, ASM Kamruzzaman, Statistics Officer and Saiful Islam, Administrative Officer.

The future of the investigation report signed by the Additional Secretary Ismail Hossain, Joint Secretary Shahina Khatun and Deputy Secretary Hasan Mahmud on January 12 last is now facing uncertainty as a powerful syndicate is working to hide the matter.

Experts said, such kind of corruption actually causes waste of state money. The money is supposed to be spent for development works, but it is being squandered at the individual level.

Dr Nazneen Ahmed, Senior Research Fellow of Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) said, the development is being hampered at different places due to continuous corruption and irregularities by a section of the unscrupulous officials. It is harmful for the country’s economy.”

The investigation committee visited the hospital on December 19 in 2019 to carry search. During the period, they examined the complaints brought against the officials. They also took statements of the concerned officials including Director of the Hospital and gathered various documents.

The probe body also found that, the demand for OT lights was 20 in the list attached with the purchasing plan. But, eight OT lights were purchased at that time at a cost of Tk 63,880,000.

Of them, two OT lights were purchased from RCS Enterprise at a cost of Tk 15,970,000. As per the calculation, the price of each light was set for Tk 79.85 lakh.

The lowest bidder got the work order according to the proposal of the tender evaluation committee, the director claimed. But, there is no example of purchasing OT lights with so high prices anywhere of the country.

Two ‘Selling Mounted Double Demo’ OT lights were purchased for the hospital service management program under the DGHS earlier, where the price of each light was Tk 2,239,500.

Besides, each of the same lights was bought with Tk 23 lakh for Sir Salimullah Medical College, Tk 9.80 lakh for Rajshahi Medical College and Tk 9.90 lakh for Chattogram Medical College.

But, the market price verification committee fixed the price of each OT light at Tk 80 lakh surprisingly.

The lights were bought with 265 percent higher than the actual price causing a financial loss of Tk 45,964,000 to the government.

The director of the hospital and the market price committee’s members are jointly responsible for the anomalies. The allegations have been initially substantiated, the probe body said.

Additionally, a cobalt machine with equipment was purchased at a cost of Tk 96 lakh in 2018. Another was bought with Tk 25.64 lakh, though the price guideline set the price at Tk 639,300.

A coblation machine along with all standard accessories was bought at Tk 96 lakh. Another ‘Coblation System for ENT Surgery’ was purchased at a cost of Tk 25.64 lakh. Those origins were mentioned USA. The government wasted Tk 78 lakh buying the machines.

Similarly, the government incurred losses at Tk 1.18 crore in the purchasing of two anesthesia machines.

No competitive tender was prosecuted there in the last few years in fear of the syndicate.

The investigation has revealed that after taking charge as a director, Dr Uttam started controlling the powers lonely by forming syndicate.

Professor Dr Uttam has amassed huge illegal wealth through corruption. He recently purchased a building along with land nearby Chattogram Buddhist Temple showing purchasing value at Tk 2 crore. But, the actual price of the building and land was around Tk 3.5 crore.

Health Minister Zahid Malek said, “I am yet to get the report. But, none is out of accountability. Action would be taken against those, if they are proved as guilty. No corrupt official will be spared.” (Source: Asian Age)

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