The government has taken a tough stance against irregularities in private hospitals, clinics, diagnostics centres and blood banks those are running without license and not complying with conditions set by the health authority to ensure proper health services for the people.
“The drive against irregularities in private hospitals, clinics, diagnostics centres and blood banks across the country will continue until this sector is fully disciplined,” Prof Dr. Ahmedul Kabir, Additional Director General (Administration) of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) told the Daily Sun.
Dr Md Belal Hossain, director (hospital) of the DGHS, said so far 1,334 unauthorised private hospitals, clinics, diagnostics centres and blood banks have been shut down during the drives being conducted across the country from May 26 to May 31.
Mentioning that the DGHS conducted a series of drives from May 26 to 29, the DGHS official said their regular drive against irregularities in private hospitals, clinics and diagnostic centres will continue.
Belal Hossain further said action was also taken against several hundred private hospitals, clinics and diagnostic centres on various charges.
Earlier, the DGHS on May 26 directed the authorities concerned to close all the unregistered clinics, hospitals and diagnostic centres across the country within 72 hours.
The instruction was given after a meeting held at the DGHS on May 25 with Prof Dr Ahmedul Kabir, additional director general (admin) of the DGHS, in the chair.
The DGHS sources said over 2,000 unauthorised hospitals, clinics, diagnostics centers and blood banks are operating across the country.
Earlier in November 2020, DGHS had issued letters to the civil surgeons of the districts across the country to take action against the unauthorised private hospitals, clinics, diagnostics centres and blood banks.
The DGHS marked those private health facilities as unauthorized which are yet to apply for online registration and those didn’t comply with the conditions set by the concerned authority.
“There are around 11,000 licensed private hospitals, clinics, diagnostics centers and blood banks in the country,” Belal Hossain of the DGHS said.
According to the DGHS data, over 10,930 private hospitals, clinics, diagnostics centres and blood banks have got licenses against a total of around 16,377 applications submitted till May 31.
Of the licensed healthcare centres, 3,717 are licensed hospitals, 7,051 diagnostic centre and 162 blood banks. However, 14,198 healthcare centres also renewed their license during the time.
The DGHS data further said a total of 16,377 private hospitals, diagnostic centers and blood banks applied online for registration and 8,809 for renewal.
It said some 2,699 new applications and 404 renewal applications were pending due to lack of necessary documents, 2062 new and 2,426 renewal applicants were waiting for inspection and inspection for 358 new applications and 562 renewal were completed during the time.
Earlier, private health facilities were asked to submit applications online for licence by August 23, 2020. 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 operating in the country.
However, sources said around 18,000 private hospitals, clinics, diagnostics centers and blood banks are running across the country, including the capital.
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 issued deadline several times but most of them did not pay any heed to the directive.
During the weeklong drive, the DGHS across the country took action against over 1,500 private hospitals, clinics diagnostic centres and blood banks.
Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque on Wednesday has warned of stern actions against unauthorised hospitals.
He came up with the warning while speaking at a programme of the DGHS at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the capital.
Mentioning that there are around 11,000 private hospitals, clinics, diagnostic centres and blood banks in the country, the minister said healthcare institutions those don't have registration will be shut.
Talking to the Daily Sun about the ongoing drive, Dr Md Moniruzzaman Bhuiyan, president of Bangladesh Private Clinic and Diagnostic Owner's Association (BPCDOA) said “Healthcare centres those have been shut down during the drive are not our members. Only the licensed institutions are members of our organisation.”