A mobile court busted a fake hospital run by some untrained people inside the National Institute of Traumatology Orthipedics and Rehablitation (NITOR) (Pangu Hospital) in Agargaon of the capital on Saturday.
The court also sentenced three people including owner of the hospital and other two hospital employees to two years of imprisonment and fined them Tk 1 lakh each. In default, they have to suffer three more months in jail.
The approval of the 10-bed Shahjalal General Hospital expired on June 2013, but the hospital authority continued its operation without any proper Health Ministry approval.
The six arrested persons, including its owner Sujon Das, 32, and employees Sumon Pal, 24, Mohammad Masum Mridha, 28, Mitu Joy Dar, 20, Suborito Bala, 19, and Pankoj Chandra Das, 21, were sent to jail while a total of eight patients, who were undergoing treatment at the hospital, were removed to NITOR.
Of those arrested three were fake doctors, one fake nurse and two fake technicians. Of the six, three were awarded six months each.
The mobile court comprising Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and Directorate General of Health Services conducted the drive at House No 27/2 in West Agargaon at BNP Bazar on Saturday.
Executive Magistrate AHM Anwar Pasha, who led the mobile court, said, during the drive, we found that Masum Mridha, an SSC pass young man, was conducting an operation and writing prescriptions for the patients although he has no training or expertise.
During primary interrogation, owner Sujon Das, admitted that they have links with some unscrupulous doctors of NITOR.
They also said they were running this illegal hospital for the last one year. A ward boy (brother) of a nearby government hospital is the owner of the fake hospital. There are a number of private hospitals have sprung up in and around the NITOR.
AHM Anwar Pasa, Executive Magistrate of RAB, paid a surprise visit to the hospital with the mobile court. The mobile court authority sealed-off the hospital after the drive conducted by RAB-2 and caught the six persons red-handed from the spot.
Anwar Pasa told this correspondent, this so-called hospital which is a hundred yards away from the NITOR was illegal. The hospital has no valid approval, favourable environment and sufficient manpower to run the hospital.
Even this hospital has no full-time physician. When necessary the hospital authority used to call doctors from the government hospitals. But ordinary patients are unable to understand which one of them is real and which one is fake.
After this revelation, there was a hue and cry over the mushroom growth of fake hospitals, clinics and diagnostics centres all over the country, although it has been an open secret since long. But the incidents of catching the offender red-handed are very rare.
Some vested quarters have not taken this as a noble profession. Rather, they set up a trap for the patients. As a result, the incidents of medical malpractice by fake doctors and wrong treatment are on the rise. Lack of government monitoring has aggravated the situation. Many spoke on the need for changing private medical practice, clinics and laboratories ordinance of 1984.
Mohona Hospital in the capital's Panthapath was temporarily shut down on December 1 by the government for allegedly operating without licence and refusing treatment to eminent journalist Zaglul Ahmed Chowdhury, who later died.