Health minister defends ‘abnormal food cost’ for DMCH doctors, nurses

Ahammad Foyez | Published: 00:27, Jul 01,2020


Health minister Zahid Maleque defended the ‘abnormal’ expenditure of Tk 20 crore for food and accommodation of Dhaka Medical College Hospital doctors and staff on Tuesday, a day after prime minister Sheikh Hasina told parliament that the spending seemed to be unusual.

‘The allegation of corruption in the expenditure on food and hotel tent of physicians and other health service providers at the hospital was not correct,’ Zahid told the parliament, adding that he collected information in this regard Monday night.

He claimed that 50 hotels were rented for accommodation of 3,700 people involved in treatment for COVID-19 at the hospital.

‘The rent of every room is Tk 1,100 and food cost for each person is Tk 500 per day, including three meals,’ the minister said.

Earlier on Monday, responding Jatiya Party chairman GM Quader, Hasina told the parliament, ‘We’re investigating it as to why it is so unusual. We’ll take action if any irregularity occurred there.’

She said that the government would continue drives against corruption to maintain the country’s development trend and uphold achievements.

The issue comes into the discussion after some physicians posted a picture of a plate of snacks compressed by two pieces of bread, a boiled egg and a banana saying that the authority was providing them with the food and showed in bills as the cost of Tk 500.

Anti-Corruption Commission director for public relations Pranab Kumar Bhattacharjee told New Age that the commission clipped together media reports on the alleged irregularities and the clippings would be sent to commission high officials for taking next course of action.

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