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Bangladesh - July 1, 2021

Parliament heated

Protesting Health Minister’s statement

Mahfuja Mukul: Health Minister Zahid Malek’s statement has caused a stir in Parliament yesterday. This situation is created when the health minister denies allegations of irregularities, mismanagement and non-recruitment in the health sector during the recent months for the Covid pandemic.
Responding to opposition members’ statements during the budget passage in parliament yesterday the health minister asked them to take responsibility. He also said that the allegations were ‘unacceptable’.
Jatiya Party’s Pir Fazlur Rahman said during the discussion on the health department’s retrenchment proposal, ‘How many times will I give for DO letter? There is no ambulance in my area hospital, when will I get a doctor? When will I get an X-ray machine? When will I get a radiologist? Every time I told the health minister, he asked me to give a DO letter. How many times? ‘
Regarding the allocation demand of the ministry, Pir Fazlur Rahman said, ‘I could not spend the money of the ongoing allocation. Asked for allocation again. Another Japa member, Shamim Haider Patwari, said, “The health ministry could not spend the money. Returned… This is not what we want. If you can’t spend, here are 350 MPs. We spend. We will look after healthcare. You don’t need to. Can’t hire doctor-nurse. He gave responsibility to 350 MP. We make arrangements for recruitment.
BNP’s Rumin Farhana highlighted various irregularities in the health sector, saying, ‘The Ministry of Health’s Annual Development Program (ADP) is 25 percent. Where is this allocation going? The question is whether the ministry has the capacity to spend the allocation.
BNP’s Harunur Rashid said, ‘The health sector is going through a crisis. There is no benefit in cutting off the stalks to eradicate corruption. The roots of the tree must be uprooted. There have been massive irregularities in health shopping. There is nothing new to say about corruption.
Besides, BNP’s Mosharraf Hossain, Jatiya Party’s Rustam Ali Faraji and Mujibul Haque Chunnu highlighted various health irregularities. Opposition members also questioned the inadequacy of the coronavirus vaccine.
Later, in reply, Health Minister Zahid Malek said to the members of the opposition at one stage, ‘You are the chair of the hospital. You have responsibilities. You have to take responsibility.
He also responded to allegations of corruption. Said, speaking of masks. The mask was not bought. His payment was not made. If dhalao (frequent) complains, he won’t say anything.
At that time there was a commotion from the opposition bench. Jatiya Party and BNP members opposed the health minister’s statement. The words ‘we don’t read magazines’ were also heard from the house at that time. When the health minister paused, the information and broadcasting minister in front of him motioned for him to continue his speech.
Regarding the allegations of irregularities and corruption in the ministry, Zahid Malek said, “It has to be said precisely. Talking about irregularities in a pouring manner will not be acceptable. Specifically, where is the corruption?
At that time, when there was a commotion from the opposition party again, the minister said, ‘No money was given for the mask. To be precise. You don’t have to say it in a pouring way.

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