A steel almirah typically costs about Tk 23,000, but the authorities of the 250-bed TB Hospital in the capital bought 100 such items at Tk 96,000 each, according to an Anti-Corruption Commission enquiry.
The authorities also purchased 19 essential pieces of medical equipment for the hospital at exaggerated prices in 2018.
In the enquiry, the details of which were revealed yesterday, the ACC found that the hospital’s former deputy director and current deputy director misappropriated around Tk 4.46 crore of public money in collaboration with suppliers.
ACC’s Deputy Assistant Director Mohammad Shahjahan Meraz filed three cases yesterday against hospital’s Deputy Director Dr Abu Raihan, former deputy director Imran Ali, proprietor of Nirjhara Enterprise Afsana Islam, Promixco Limited Chairperson Mousumi Islam and proprietor of Ahmed Enterprise Munsi Farrukh Hossain.
In 2017, former health minister Mohammed Nasim inaugurated the hospital with facilities, including 150-bed indoor services, outdoor services, 24-hour emergency services and operation theatre with thoracic surgery.
“Even before the allocation of money, former deputy director of the hospital Imran Ali fixed the price of the products at an excess rate with the collaboration of suppliers. He then floated tenders and awarded contracts to the suppliers,” said an ACC source.
Nirjhara Enterprise supplied a diathermy machine at Tk 8 lakh and a spirometer full system at Tk 54 lakh. However, in the enquiry the ACC found the price of a diathermy machine to be Tk 2.19 lakh and a spirometer to be Tk 3 lakh.
The hospital authorities procured six items of different quantities from Promixco.
“It took Tk 2.07 lakh for a syringe pump worth Tk 56,412, Tk 5.84 lakh for an ECG machine worth Tk 73,040,” ACC sources said.
Promixco supplied eight ECG machines. It supplied 10 infusion pumps each at Tk 2.55 lakh, whereas the actualprice was Tk 88,917, the enquiry found.
The price of a full system bronchoscope was Tk 20.24 lakh, but the hospital authorities bought it at Tk 85.45 lakh.
The hospital bought 20 volt-stabilisers at Tk 11,800 each, but the actual price was Tk 3,924.
Promixco was also the supplier of the almirahs.
The third contractor, Ahmed Enterprise, supplied a defibrillator, a video laryngoscope, a headlight for surgery, five pulse oximeters, autoclave machine, 10 patient beds (tri-functional), five high-flow nasal cannulas, five syringe pumps, a CPR meter, an oxygen analyser, four patient monitors and five ICU ventilators to the hospital.
The ACC in its enquiry found that the original price of the supplied products were Tk 19.81 crore, but the hospital authorities paid them Tk 2.42 crore extra.
The money was misappropriated by the accused, reads the case statements.
Of the three accused contractors, two have already been facing graft cases for misappropriating huge public money.
On August 16 last year, the anti-graft watchdog filed a case against the proprietor of Nirjhara for misappropriating about Tk 1.29 crore by manipulating a tender meantto buy books and journals for Sheikh Hasina Medical College in Habiganj.
Ahmed Enterprise was blacklisted by the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) in June last year.
Its owner Farrukh is the brother of Munshi Sazzad Hossain, who was an administrative officer of National Institute of Diseases of the Chest and Hospital. Apart from being an official of the hospital, Sazzad used to supply medical equipment to government hospitals. He is also the owner of the blacklisted Anik Traders.
The ACC filed a case in November 2019 against Farrukh, Sazzad and their brother Abdullah Al Mamun for embezzling about Tk 10 crore in the purchase of medical supplies for the Faridpur Medical College Hospital (FMCH).
The Daily Star could not reach them for comments.
Contacted, Kamal Shahriar, personal secretary of Promixco’s chairperson, told The Daily Star yesterday that he would talk with her and convey their statement in this regard.
But no further correspondence was made from their end.
TB Hospital Deputy Director Raihan said he was not involved in the tender process. “When I joined in March 2018, the tender process was at an advanced stage. It was not possible for me to halt supply of the important medical equipment,” he said.
The Daily Star could not reach Imran Ali for comments. Source: Daily Star
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