Home Bangladesh BSMMU officials grab Tk 250cr illegally
Bangladesh - Health - July 19, 2023

BSMMU officials grab Tk 250cr illegally

ACC starts investigation

Special Correspondent: There have been allegations of widespread irregularities and corruption in Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU), the country’s leading institution for medicine, education and research. The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has received sensational information about the irregularities of about Tk 246 crore in 29 sectors of the varsity. Irregularities in various sectors include – Expenditure without bill-voucher, Payment to contractor without purchase of machinery, Irregular expenditure in violation of PPR rules, Irregular expenditure on construction and repair etc.
ACC has entered the field to investigate the financial irregularities of BSMMU. Taking into account the report of the Inspection and Audit Directorate and the complaints of the hospital’s officials, the ACC formed an investigation team under the leadership of Deputy Director Syed Nazrul Islam in June this year.
The ACC had written to BSMMU on June 26 seeking certain information as part of the investigation. The hospital authorities are also said to have started the process of responding to it.
When Assistant Director KhorshedAlam, a member of the search team, was asked about this, he refused to say anything.
According to the University Act, the medical services of BSMMU are considered public welfare. However, the operation and treatment fees of the hospital were increased without taking into account the low-cost treatment of the patients by pointing a thumb at this law. In this way, an additional Tk 84.25 lakh was collected from the patients.
According to the varsity’s 2017-2018 financial audit report, the officials and employees of the hospital increased the operation charges and distributed a large part of the extra money as commission, showing the reason for the increase in the price of drugs in the market. However, during the audit, no evidence of price increase of medical supplies was found.
KhorshedAlam, assistant director of the investigating officer ACC, refused to speak on the matter as the investigation is ongoing. Officials say that many of the audit objections have been resolved at that time.
In this regard, ACC Secretary Md. Mahbub Hossain told Daily Industry that the search has only begun. Nothing can be said at the beginning. The Inquiry Officer has been assigned the duty. According to the law, he will complete the search within the specified time. The company officials say that some issues of the audit have been resolved. A number of questions have also been answered on demand.
Many irregularities in audit report
Irregularities revealed in the audit report include non-transfer of departmental receipts of Tk 83,26,10,734 to the university fund, unspent Tk 23,700,000 not handed over before the end of the year, irregular transfer from departmental income to Laboratory Services Management Committee as bank, support of expenditure. Non-receipt of bill/voucher of Tk 42 crore, distribution of user fee quarter of Tk 14 crore among doctors, officials in violation of law.
Besides, increase in various examination charges including unnecessary operation charges and ICU charges, irregular expenditure of Tk 19.92 crore in violation of PPR rules, revenue loss of Tk 69 lakh due to non-deduction of VAT and income tax from the bill. Irregular expenditure of Tk 1.87 crore due to non-availability of necessary evidence to support payment of bills to the contractor, irregular expenditure of Tk 67 lakh on construction, repair, irregularity in record keeping in support of expenditure of Tk 5.62 crore, suffering of patients due to non-purchase of very urgent MSR (ETT machine) and annual Financial loss of Tk 30 lakhs.
Other irregularities include – payment of bills of Tk 3.33 crore without placement of medical waste treatment at permanent site, expenditure of Tk 32.43 lakh for maintenance of useless lift, payment of bills twice against this work order, discrepancy as income of cardiac surgery department etc.
According to the ACC sources, the audit report has revealed that 29 sectors of the organization have irregularities and corruption of Tk 246.15 crores.
Cost of operation doubles
In the financial year 2017-18, increasing the medical expenses, money has been transferred to the university fund to the tune of Tk 1 crore 71 lakh 91 thousand 109. Besides, Tk 15 lakh 88 thousand 412 was deposited as evening incentive at the same time. At that time, the operation fee was doubled and an additional Tk 84.25 was collected from the patients, which is not a proof of service to helpless and vulnerable patients.
It is known that during that period the income of the institution is much higher or double than the total annual cost, which is due to the doubling of operation charges. The proposal to double this charge was approved in the 2013 Syndicate meeting.
Double billing for same work
According to the ACC sources, in the light of the March 2016 quotation circular, the work order for the supply of goods worth Tk 1 lakh 17 thousand 500 was issued in September of the next year. In November 2017, two bills of Tk 2 lakh 35 thousand were received for the supply of goods. This amount, double the mandate, was paid by check in May 2018. However, the goods mentioned in the two bills were not recorded in the stock book.
At least three patients are operated on each day in the three cardiac surgery OTs, the report said. The minimum fixed cost of each operation is Tk 1 lakh 30 thousand. Although the annual income is supposed to be at least Tk 11.7 crore excluding holidays and other days, the annual income in this sector is shown as Tk 4.13 lakh, which is less than the potential income of Tk 7.57 lakh.
Tk 100cr of income not deposited
Analyzing the budget allocation of the account branch of the organization and the bill register audit of divided sector-wise expenditure, it can be seen that there is no trace of the unspent money of about Tk 25 crore 20 lakh 80 thousand 562 in several sectors. Out of which Tk 23 crores 70 lakhs 8 thousand 862 of 10 sectors have not been spent. But there is no evidence of handing over that money to the treasury of the organization. Out of Tk 8 crore given by the government for the treatment of congenital heart disease in children without surgery, Tk one crore five lakh seventy one thousand seven hundred was unspent. But that money was not deposited in the university fund. According to the audit report, there has been a loss of Tk 25 crore 20 lakh 80 thousand 562 due to non-deposit of the unspent money of those two sectors.
Apart from this, there is a provision to deposit the money collected on account of user fees in various departments of the university in the central fund. But a total of Tk 83 crore 26 lakh 10 thousand 734 including Tk 82 crore 26 lakh 10 thousand 734 of some departments and Tk 1.0 crore of dividend received from FDR have not been deposited in the university fund. Tk 45 crore 13 lakh 72 thousand less than the total income of seven departments has been deposited. In all, Tk 128 crores 39 lakhs 82 thousand 734 have not been deposited in the central fund of the university. In the audit report, it has been recommended to deposit these funds in the university fund.
Annual financial loss of Tk 30 lakh
The University Act empowers the Department through the Purchase Committee with the approval of the Finance Committee to purchase essential equipment and supplies for the purpose of providing medical services. But the report mentioned that the rules of the university have been violated because the concerned department did not implement it on time.
An exercise tolerance test or ETT is a device used to detect blockages in the blood vessels of the heart. In 2017-18, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) had only one of the number of ultra-essential machines for testing patients with heart disease, diabetes or hypertension. Despite having enough money in the fund, the company incurred an annual loss of Tk 30 lakh due to not buying the machine in violation of the law. And the patient admitted to suffering has turned to private hospital without getting proper service.
During the inspection, a visit to the medical storage room of the cardiology department showed that an ETT machine has been in operation in the university for many years for the vital second-stage ETT test of heart disease patients. As a result, patients have to suffer for this test every day. In 2015, the hospital suffered a financial loss of Tk 30 lakhs due to non-purchase of ETT machines. The demand for purchasing the device from this department was given in 2015. But till 2018 the machine was not purchased even though there was enough money in the fund.
Total income of cardiology department in 2017-2018 was Tk 4 crore 2 lakh 25 thousand 210. Out of which Tk 12 lakh earned from user fee, 30 percent commission is distributed among the officers and employees of the department. As on June 30, 2018, the fund of the department had a surplus of Tk 61 lakh. The estimated value of the ETT at the time of audit was Tk 25 lakhs. The test fee per person with the device was Tk 1400. An average of 2200 patients are examined annually. Accordingly, the annual income is expected to be Tk 30 lakh 80 thousand. The report says that as patients have suffered due to lack of initiative, the institution has also been deprived of financial benefits.
Paying bills without working
An expenditure of Tk 3 crore 33 lakh has been shown for purchase of medical waste treatment plant under one project. But in the absence of the purchase order, bill and supply invoice along with the model number, country of origin, import related documents and details, it could not be confirmed about the purchase of the machine as per the specifications submitted in the tender schedule. Besides, the contractor has collected the bill of Tk 3 crore 33 lakh without setting up the plant in a permanent place. As of the audit on May 15, 2019, no evidence of replacement or operation of the plant was found. Besides, in the middle of 2018, Tk 23 lakh 70 thousand were paid to an organization for the purchase of the EMG/NEV/SEP machine, but after 11 months, the audit team did not find any evidence of the use of the machine.
VCs are nottaking responsibility
Professor Kamrul Hasan Khan was the Vice-Chancellor of the University from March 24, 2015 to March 23, 2018. And Professor Dr. Sharfuddin Ahmed was working as Vice-Chancellor at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University from 2015 to 2018.
When asked about these issues, the current vice-chancellor of BSMMU and the vice-chancellor of the institution in 2017, Dr. Sharfuddin Ahmed told that there were two vice chancellors before me. Professor Kamrul Hasan Khan and Professor Kanak Kanti Barua. There are two audit objections during their tenure. The letter came from ACC, I gave it to the treasurer and finance director of my finance department. They are preparing the papers. ACC has been asked for time, ACC will respond.
He also said, I have nothing to do beyond the papers. It is none of my business. It belongs to those who were before. As I am the head, we will send the papers as soon as possible. They will ship within two weeks.
Former Vice-Chancellor of BSMMU Dr. Kanak Kanti Barua told, I joined in March 2018. Before this there was Kamrul Hasan Khan. Besides, Kamrul Hasan Khan also does not seem to have anything to do. Finance department can answer these. Documents are in all offices.
He also said that even in 2017-18, even if I had been a VC, these would not have been in my hands. Will be in the office. The Finance Department will answer it. If they say, this is because of VC sahib, then they can come to me, whatever happens, comes in our way. As far as I know most of these have been settled. As far as I know, many things have been settled.
This former VC said, I can’t say anything about this, I don’t know if my previous VC can say these things after so long. I got only three months. There was no financial order at that time. It’s been three months.

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