The Anti-Corruption Commission has initiated an inquiry to scrutinize the necessary clearances and cost of medical tests as it suspected money laundering involvement of the posh private diagnostic centers in the capital.
The commission assigned its deputy director M Shamsul Alam for inquiring the matter while its director Sayed Iqbal Hossain was assigned as supervision officer of the inquiry, ACC secretary Abu M Mustafa Kamal told New Age.
He said that the commission initiated the inquiry last week after a three-member scrutiny committee recommended the commission for taking necessary action about the complaint which the commission received from a secret source.
He said that the commission inquiry officer will visit at least 10 diagnostic centers at Dhanmondi and Uttara areas as the names of the 10 diagnostic centers were mentioned in the complaint.
He said the commission will gradually take steps about the other diagnostic centers after completing the inquiry.
He said that a diagnostic center needed clearances from the Department of Environment, the Fire Service and Civil Defence, Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution, respective city governments and some other authorities to operate a diagnostic center.
But a good number of diagnostic centers were allegedly operating their business through false clearances created by a nexus of officials of the departments and health ministry.
He said that a good number of diagnostic centers allegedly used names of expert physicians in their signboards while the physicians do not sit there.
He also said there were some allegations that technicians made test reports using the seal and pad of the expert physicals which causes wrong treatment.
He said that a good number of diagnostic centers were also allegedly involved in money laundering in the name of consultancy and processing of treatment abroad mainly in India without any approval.
According to a recent report in Indian media, Indian ministry of tourism data showed that 1.37 million visitors went to India from Bangladesh in 2016, up by 21 per cent from that of 2015.
Indian government data showed that about half of 1,34,344 visas issued by India for medical treatment in 2015 were for citizens from Bangladesh. The number of medical visas increased to about 97,000 only in the first six months of 2016.
According to an earlier report of professional service firm KPMG India, the highest number of medical tourists in India were from Bangladesh (more than a fifth) because of the ‘lack of quality healthcare infrastructure and unavailability of skilled manpower’ in Bangladesh.
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