Staff Reporter :
The Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) conducted raids at the Uttara and Mirpur branches of the Regent Hospital in Dhaka on Monday on allegations of issuing fake Covid-19 certificates.
Eight people have been detained during the raids conducted by RAB mobile courts.
RAB Executive Magistrate Sarwoer Alam said the raids were carried out on complaints that the hospital was issuing fake Covid-19 certificates, charging exorbitant fees for Covid-19 testing and treatment ofÂ patients.
Regent Hospital was one of the few private hospitals permitted to provide Covid-19 treatment in March, when the coronavirus pandemic unfolded in Bangladesh.
The hospital has an agreement with the Directorate General of Health Services that it would treat Covid-19 patients for free.
However, the hospital was charging patients as well as submitted vouchers to the government claiming patients were being treated for free, said the RAB Executive Magistrate.
Sarwoer said the hospital's registration expired in 2014, but was still allowed to treat Covid-19 patients.
"The hospital had collected over 10,000 samples, and some 4,200 samples were tested from the Institute of Public Health Nutrition (IPHN), the National Institute of Preventive and Social Medicine (NIPSOM), and Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) free of cost. However, they charged people Tk3,500 for each test.
"Rest of the samples remained untested and the Regent Hospital authorities provided fake certificates for those samples," he said.
The hospital authorities have embezzled over Tk3 crore by Covid-19 treatment and testing, said Sarwoer.
The RAB executive magistrate said that they have recovered more than 40 forged Covid-19 certificates with fake IPHN and NIPSOM logos, and signatures.
RAB cross-checked those certificates and confirmed that those were forged, said Sarwoer.
He said the next to the hospital building, there is an IT office of the hospital where the fake certificates were made.
Sarwoer said: "We have collected some test reports in the last few days following the allegations, and we got them checked by the two public health organizations.
"We have recovered another 28 reports during our raid - all of them are fake," he said, adding, " Coronavirus test reports were given here without testing. The people involved in the hospital used to give fake reports by throwing away the samples. The report was given a fake seal and signature."
He said legal action will also be taken against the chairman of the organization and all those involved in this activity. RAB is going to file a case against the hospital authorities.
"Suspecting a raid, Regent Hospital Chairman Md Shahed held a press conference a couple of days ago claiming that some members of the staff were involved in irregularities; but he is the one actually responsible for the fraud," Sarwoer said.
The Regent Hospital chairman could not be reached for a comment over the phone.