A seven-member team of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party met home minister Asaduzzaman Khan on Sunday and sought treatment of jailed BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia at a specialised hospital, preferably United Hospital or Apollo Hospital.
The home minister later told reporters that there was no possibility of taking Khaleda to any private hospital.
‘We will provide the highest possible treatment for Khaleda as per recommendation of the medical board and the law,’ he said.
‘We met the home minister and requested him to provide our party chairperson with treatment at a specialised hospital. Our party chairperson prefers United Hospital and so we requested him to provide her with treatment there,’ BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir Fakhrul told reporters emerging from the hour-long meeting.
‘He [home minister] told us that he would look into the matter discussing with the secretary and the inspector general of prisons and specialist doctors today [Sunday],’ Fakhrul said.
He said that BNP expected the government to allow Khaleda to take treatment at United Hospital as she preferred the hospital.
Senior BNP leaders Jamiruddin Sircar, Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Nazrul Islam Khan, Rafiqul Islam Mia, Mirza Abbas, Abdul Moin Khan accompanied Fakhrul.
The home minister later told reporters that the BNP leaders informed him that Khaleda’s health was deteriorating gradually and requested him to take her to United Hospital or Apollo Hospital for treatment.
He said that he had directed the home secretary and the inspector general of prisons to form a medical board with those who used to treat Khaleda earlier and specialists at government hospitals to examine her health.
As per the rules, she will have to go to a government hospital, Asaduzzaman said, adding that if the medical board said the treatment she needed was not possible at government hospitals, then the question of private hospital would arise.
He advocated that the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University was accepted as the best institution for treatment in Bangladesh.
The minister claimed that a physiotherapist was giving therapy every alternative day and a doctor and a pharmacist were examining her health daily.
He replied in the negative as he was asked whether he had any report of deteriorating health condition of Khaleda.
Asked whether there was any possibility of taking her to any private hospital of her choice, he said, ‘There is no such possibility as per the jail code.’
Asked whether providing treatment to different politicians, including the prime minister Sheikh Hasina, at private hospitals while they were in jail were violation of the law, he said that the BNP secretary general took treatment outside jail as per a court order. ‘We will consider all the court orders.’