The government is going to shut down around 3,000 unapproved hospitals, clinics, diagnostics centers and blood banks across the country, including the capital.
The health and family welfare ministry has already given directives to the authorities concerned to close these illegal private health facilities, ministry sources said.“We have given directive to immediately shut down these illegal health care facilities,” Dr Md Farid Hossain Miah, Director (Hospital) of Directorate General of Health Services, told the daily sun on Wednesday.
The DGHS has already issued letters to the civil surgeons of the districts across the country on November 9 and the letters are supposed to reach them on November 10, he said.
“We have marked those private health facilities as unapproved which are yet to apply for online registration. Registration process for those which have already applied for registration is underway,” the DGHS official added.
He also said as per data available, there are around 3,000 unapproved private health facilities, including hospitals, clinics, diagnostics centers and blood banks in the country.
“Around 13,000 private hospitals, clinics, diagnostics centers and blood banks of the country have so far applied for online registration,” the DGHS official added.
According to DGHS sources, over 6,000 private hospitals, clinics, diagnostics centres and blood banks have got licences against a total of around 13,500 applications submitted as of November 11.Of the licenced private health facilities, around 4,500 submitted applications for renewal of licences, the sources added.
Earlier, private health facilities were asked to submit applications online for licence by August 23. Later, the deadline of submitting applications was extended.
The sources said the DGHS has no record of specific number of private hospitals, clinics, diagnostics centers and blood banks running in the country.
However, it is learnt from the sources that around 18,000 private hospitals, clinics, diagnostics centers and blood banks are running across the country, including the capital.
On September 2, following an order, the DGHS informed the High Court that 12,543 private health facilities have submitted applications for licences.
A director-level official of DGHS wishing not to be named said the health directorate has long been asking the private health facilities to obtain licence and fixed deadline several times but most of them did not pay any heed to the directive.
Talking to reporters after a meeting at the health ministry on Wednesday, Prof Dr Abul Bashar Mohammad Khurshid Alom, Director General of the DGHS said the government will start inspecting all private health facilities across the country this month.
He said there are 6,067 licensed private health facilities across the country. Of them, 2,130 are private hospitals, 3,856 diagnostic centers and 81 blood banks.
The DGHS chief said they held an emergency meeting on Monday with divisional directors and asked them to submit a list of licensed and unlicensed health facilities of their areas by Thursday.
Mentioning that they have already formed a committee to shut down the unapproved health facilities with the cooperation of administration and police, he hopes that they may start the drive this month.
Talking to reporters on August 9, Md Abdul Mannan, secretary to the health services division of Health and Family Welfare Ministry, said if any hospitals fail to renew their licences by the deadline, disciplinary action would be taken against them.
“Task force members will conduct operation as soon as allegations of irregularities or corruption in any health facilities are found,” he added.
The law enforcement agencies and health directorate recently conducted drives against some private hospitals including Regent Hospital, JKG Healthcare and Shahabuddin Medical College in the capital and took action against them for their irregularities in providing health services.