More than 70 per cent of diagnostic centres and clinics in Barishal are operating illegally, taking advantage of the lax monitoring by the authorities concerned.
Moreover, the licences of most of the diagnostic centres and clinics running legally have already expired and are yet to be renewed.
Due to the lack of proper monitoring, these facilities do not maintain a dedicated system for waste disposal and management.
According to the local health department, there are 961 private diagnostic centres and clinic-hospitals in six districts of the Barishal division.
Of these, 701 are diagnostic centres and 260 are clinic-hospitals. Of them, 492 diagnostic centres and 172 clinic-hospitals do not have licences.
Kazi Mofizul Islam Kamal, president of Barishal Clinic and Diagnostic Owners Association and director of Bellevue Diagnostic Centre and Hospital, said there are about 50 clinics and more than 150 diagnostic centres in the city, and most of them do not have approval.
“Although many have licences, those have not been renewed. Many are applying for renewal, but they are not getting it.”
A source at Sher-e-Bangla Medical College said the hospital authorities were not taking any action even though a number of doctors and officials of the hospital had joined hands with private businesses in violation of the government employment rules.
Managing local health officials, an influential quarter had long been doing their business without licences, said the source.
Most of these healthcare institutions, including Poly Clinic in Banglabazar, Abdullah Hospital in Rupatoli, Momota Specialised Hospital in Kalibari, Abid Islamia Medical Services in front of Sher-e-Bangla Medical College, have been continuing their business without any licence, the source added.
No one dares to take action against the organisations as influential local elites run them.
Citizens for Good Governance Barishal metropolitan unit General Secretary Rafiqul Alam said the medical system in Barishal had collapsed.
The administration should take strict measures to stop the competition of earning illegal money by some dishonest doctors, diagnostic centres, and brokers, he said. He also said necessary steps should be taken immediately about the matter.
Barishal Metropolitan Police Commissioner Shahabuddin Khan said the police have a strong position against those who are cheating patients.
Immediate action would be taken if any case was filed regarding illegal clinic business, he added.
Civil Surgeon Dr Maria Hasan said necessary steps would be taken against those involved in the irregularities.
Shyamal Krishna Mandal, assistant director of Barishal divisional health office, said the number of private diagnostic centres and clinics was increasing day by day, but most of these do not have licences.
Halim Reza Mofazzel, director of the Apollo Diagnostic Centre on Sadar Road in the city, said the diagnostic centre has the approval of all authorities concerned.
AK Chowdhury, owner of the Central Medical Services Diagnostics on Jordan Road, said the required papers had been submitted to the health department.
Ruhul Amin Likhan, MLSS at Sher-e-Bangla Medical College and a partner of the Doctors Digital Diagnostic Centre located in front of the hospital, said they run the diagnostic centre following all instructions of the health ministry.
However, he admitted that he has not received approval so far.