Medical college and hospital in Habiganj
Zarif Mahmud: In a proposed new project, Tk 33.60 lakh has been demanded for honorarium in two sectors. Besides, Tk 272 crore have been sought under the project without any purchase plan. The Directorate of Health Education has made such a request under the proposed project of ‘Setting up of Sheikh Hasina Medical College and Hospital and Nursing College, inHabiganj. However, the Planning Commission does not find any justification for such a request. As a result, the commission has recommended to rationally re-propose the project by cutting out the unreasonable demands from the project.
The Planning Commission prepared the working paper before the Project Evaluation Committee (PEC) meeting. In the working paper, there are many discrepancies in the project. In this context, the commission has questioned the proposed cost of the project.
According to the Planning Commission, a total of Tk 1,328.26 crore has been mentioned in the purchase plan for the project’s goods, works and services sector. The total estimated cost is Tk 1,601.24 crore. As such, the remaining Tk 272.98 crore is outside the purchase plan. The project cost should be brought down to a reasonable level by discussing this in detail in the meeting. Tk 13 lakh in one sector and Tk 21.60 lakh in another sector has been demanded in the proposed project. It is recommended to give honorarium or bring it down to a reasonable level. According to the Planning Commission sources,
for this three-year project, entertainment expenses are Tk 5 lakh, postal charges are Tk 120,000, labor wages are Tk 15 lakhs, registration fees are Tk 20 lakhs, bank charges are Tk 2 lakhs, domestic travel expenses are Tk 5 lakhs and stationery costs are Tk 10 lakh has been proposed. The cost of project items proved to be exorbitant. The commission has urged to review to reduce these expenses.
Over Tk 57 lakh has been proposed for the purchase of a motor vehicle for the project. There is an offer of Tk 10 lakh for petrol oil and lubricants for motor vehicles and Tk 5 lakh for repair and maintenance of motor vehicles. According to the latest circular of the Ministry of Finance, the purchase of all types of vehicles is suspended. However, the Manpower Committee report recommended the purchase of a transport service. In this context, it has been recommended that Tk 10 lakhs can be deducted for petrol oil and lubricants and Tk5 lakhs for repair and maintenance of motor vehicles.
According to the Planning Commission, Tk 48 lakh has been proposed against 240 people for local training in the project. The cost proposal for the project did not mention the training for whom and on what. The Commission feels that it would be reasonable to drop this proposal. Tk 36.40 lakh for medical and surgical equipment and Tk 50 lakh for chemicals have been proposed. It can be purchased under the revenue sector as it is required after completion of the project. In this situation, the commission feels that it would be appropriate to exclude these two sectors from the project.
Besides, Tk 50 lakh have been proposed in the value added tax sector. Tk 50 lakh can be deducted in this case as value added tax is attached to each item. In the project, Tk 85 lakh have been proposed for 100 computers and accessories and Tk 1 lakh for repair and maintenance of three computers. However, no information was available in the Development Project Proposal (DPP) about the requirement of a large number of computers along with cost-sharing.
Under the project, Tk 4.55 crore furniture for medical college, Tk 1.34 crore furniture for hospital, Tk 1,014 furniture for Tk 97 lakh for nursing college and Tk 6.84 lakh furniture for project office have been proposed. Overall, an outlay of Tk 6.95 crore has been proposed for this project for 5,958 pieces of furniture.
After the DPP review, it was found that some of the furniture was overpriced. This cost is not fixed according to the market price. The Planning Commission has recommended discussion on this issue in the meeting.
The estimated cost of electrical equipment is Tk 132.75 crore. Although fixed as per Rate Schedule-2022 (Amendment), the details are not available in DPP. Tk 6.72 crore for 1,229 equipment for colleges, Tk 129.50 crore for 11,440 equipment for hospitals and Tk 1.41 crore for 887 equipment for nursing college.
In this project, a total of 13,556 machines have been proposed for Tk 137.72 crore. It is necessary to know the basis of the proposed cost estimate and the justification of the numbers/amounts. The Planning Commission has clarified that the expenditure appears to be excessive.
Additional Director General of Health Education Directorate (Medical Education) Professor Dr. Abul Bashar Md. Jamal said Daily Industry that there will be four medical colleges in the name of the Prime Minister across the country. The project of ‘Setting up of Sheikh Hasina Medical College and Hospital and Nursing College, Habiganj’ has finally been approved. We have already sent the project proposal to the Planning Commission. However, the PEC (Project Evaluation Committee) meeting did not take place.
He said about the unreasonable sector or additional expenditure proposal, this project has been proposed in the same way as the previous project was passed. We have given the project cost proposal after analyzing everything in detail. Government can give observations. We can also highlight the answer or rationale.
According to the Department of Health Education, the duration of this project is from July 1, 2023 to June 30, 2026. The total proposed cost of the project is Tk 1,601.24 crore. The project will be implemented at Habiganj Sadar for a period of three years with full government funding.
Where 30 acres of land will be acquired at a cost of Tk 91 crore and land development will be done at a cost of Tk 41 crore.
Objectives of the project: Medical college and hospital infrastructure will be constructed to improve the quality of public health care in Habiganj district and adjoining areas. This project aims to provide modern and specialized health care and improve the quality of life by reducing morbidity and mortality for about 2890,000 people in those regions. Besides, medical education and nursing education will be expanded to produce skilled and quality doctors and nurses. Establishment of Sheikh Hasina Medical College and Hospital and Nursing College Habiganj will produce 50 quality doctors and 100 nurses every year.
According to the Directorate of Health Education, the project is being undertaken for various reasons. In order to ensure universal healthcare and achieve SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) Goal-3, the government has taken initiatives to set up one new medical college hospital and nursing college in six districts of the country. These six districts are – Netrakona, Nilphamari, Naogaon, Habiganj, Magura and Rangamati. Habiganj Medical College was established in 2018, which is currently functioning temporarily in the 250-bed District Sadar Hospital.
Habiganj is a populous district among the districts of Sylhet division. The population of this district is 23 lakh 58 thousand 886 people. After Sylhet district, the indicators of birth rate, infant mortality rate, average life expectancy, maternal mortality rate etc. are relatively high. The people of Habiganj district have to depend largely on tertiary level hospitals in Sylhet for healthcare. In order to ensure healthcare in Habiganj district, it is necessary to adopt tertiary level medical system. In this context, as part of the government’s initiative, the project titled ‘Establishment of Sheikh Hasina Medical College and Hospital and Nursing College, Habiganj’ has been proposed to be fully funded by GOB (Government Fund for Development Projects).
Opinion of Planning Commission: A feasibility study report has been prepared for this project through the Institute of Health Economics of Dhaka University. According to the survey report, 30 acres of land is proposed for the project, which is 12-15 feet below the road. 4 to 5 acres of land has reservoirs and canals. Tk 90 crore for land acquisition and Tk 41.91 crore for land filling or land development has been proposed. Whether the project site can be changed or not considering the nature of the land can be discussed in the PEC meeting. Further, the proposed expenditure on land development should be reduced.
Planning Minister MA Mannan said Daily Industry about the proposal of Tk 272 crore for entertainment allowance and non-planning of the project, the issues were analyzed in detail in the PEC meeting. What is to be kept is kept, what is to be dropped is dropped. These suggestions come to my attention after several steps. The proposed expenditure must be reduced to a reasonable extent. Our ministry is working to reduce project wastage and cost.
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