COMMENTARY: Infected health sector?
July 9th, 2020 at 9:30 pm
COMMENTARY: Infected health sector?

Nadeem Qadir;

Is more coming after the Regent Hospital scandal in the country? This is the most talk of the town now. What more can is coming is a fear because the sector is solely responsible for the tarnishing the image of our Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, and of course of Bangladesh.

Thanks to the premier for giving a free hand to the law enforcers in netting criminals in the sector as COVID-19 cases and deaths remain high.

It has given the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) an uncalled for opportunity to slam the government over corruption linked to COVID-19 when the premier is struggling to save lives. She released funds on an emergency basis, but some rotten individuals continue to make illegal money tarnishing the image of the prime minister.

Bangladeshis living abroad are red-faced as they face embarrassing questions of the run-away health sector graft.

First, it was the import of masks to save people from virus, then false shortage of testing kits and now the scandal of false testing reports by the Regent Hospital.

A foreign friend told this author “corruption is not new in Bangladesh, but during the COVID-19 and involving those things that is supposed to save lives, is just inhuman. Maybe, they will get away too with powerful links like other cases.”

I assured him that the premier herself is very annoyed and will not spare those involved. But my friend laughed and said “one has to wait to see that the criminals are taken to task.”

That is what the health sector has done to the confidence on prime minister and painting Bangladesh in all the negative ways.

The man in charge was once away on a holiday despite the fact that dengue fever cases were multiplying and rushed back home only when the media was up in arms.

Health Minister Zahid Maleque

This time around one TV Channel reported most people in the Health Ministry were absent claiming they were sick or were down with the coronavirus.

Then he made excuses in every bit of corruption or other lacking of his ministry, health directorate or patients being inhumanly treated by hospitals.

 But, for how long? Hasn’t he run out of excuses and continue to sit in the chair which now needs a qualified and honest man there. By any standards, the people are waiting to see him go along with the head of the Directorate of Health Services.

There will be no tears if he finally quits out of shame or if the premier shuffles him out of her cabinet as rumours are strong that changes in the cabinet are likely to take place.

The call of the hour is to punish all in the sector for not only embarrassing the government, but also causing multitude sufferings to the patients with many of them might have died to such massive irregularities. If death can be proved, then it will be murder.

The people are waiting to see a capable man who will honestly reorganise the health sector and save Bangladeshis as well as the country’s international reputation as they now live with their heads high due the premier’s efforts to make the country a role model in many sectors. Sooner the better.

Nadeem Qadir is a senior Bangladeshi journalist and a Dag Hammarskjöld fellow,-