It is all about connections, political or otherwise. The individual who owns the now infamous Regent Hospital has proved himself to be highly crafty in exploiting the same.
None is even sure about his actual identity; he has, allegedly, used many, including that of security forces. The man, reportedly, has faced as many as 32 criminal cases instituted on different occasions. He, reportedly, was behind the bar for several months for embezzling a substantial amount of money by floating a couple of multi-level marketing (MLM) companies.
Once out of prison in 2009, as far as a media report goes, Mohammad Shahed, as he has been known lately (according to the national identity card, his name is Shahed Karim) established the 'Regent Group'. This time he engaged himself in a different mission---weaving connections with the power-that-be and so-called members of the civil society. He was seen taking part on TV talk shows on a number of occasions.
His scheme has paid off as 'connections' saved him from being prosecuted in a number of fraudulent cases.
The irregularities and negligence of serious nature that were detected the other day are nothing new for the Regent Hospital. A mobile court of the Rapid Action Battalion back in 2016 had detected the use of date-expired reagents in the same hospital and collected a hefty amount of fine. The hospital also faced a case involving the death of a patient due to negligence. However, the Regent owner, in the meanwhile, had managed his entry into the ruling circle and could stave off all odds stacked against him. However, he must have used a part of the fund he had amassed earlier through all deceitful means to buy sympathy for himself.
So, it does appear meaningless to raise question as to how the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) signed contract with the Regent Hospital when the licence of the latter had expired in 2014.
It is not unlikely that a good number of hospitals and clinics are operating without valid licences in the country. Some of those even might not have bothered to take licences from the DGHS. The owners concerned do know how to manage their existence.
Poor quality service and negligence are quite common in both government and private health facilities. The DGHS has never been serious about addressing these issues. In the case of private sector health operators, the DGHS officials do take a soft approach.
The truth is some people in the DGHS and other state health entities are not only inefficient, they are also highly corrupt. Some of their evil acts have come to light from time to time. Unfortunately, they, in most cases, got away, because of connections.
Inexcusable failures on the part of the health ministry and the DGHS have led to the rise of monsters like the owner of Regent Hospital. The hospital in question has made available to a large number of people the corona test results without conducting any lab tests, that too, in exchange for hefty fees.
Bangladeshis have been barred from entering a number of countries, allegedly, for carrying fake corona test certificates. It could be that the Regent has supplied some of these certificates. The restriction imposed by countries such as Japan, South Korea, China and lately Italy is not just an immigration or remittance issue. It is more than that. The country's image is involved here.
It is, thus, high time for the people across the political divide realised the ill-effect of harbouring the opportunists who are out to exploit connections to achieve their evil ends. Some people within a political party might accrue monetary gains from these elements, but the hard truth is that the image of the party concerned gets seriously dented in the process.