Dhaka Medical College and Hospital has refuted media reports that claimed the hospital spent Tk20 crore on only food for doctors and health workers dedicated to treating Covid-19 patients.
The media claim is "false" and, actually, the total expenditure covers accommodation, food and other costs of 2,276 doctors and health workers.
The Director of Dhaka Medical College and Hospital, Brigadier General AKM Nasir Uddin, was speaking on the controversial expenditure at a press conference on Wednesday.
He said rents of 30 hotels selected for accommodating health workers according to their categories ranged from Tk500 to Tk5,000, while three meals a day cost Tk500 per head.
Around Tk11.86 crore was spent on accommodation and food for the doctors and health workers, which came to over Tk13.64 crore after including a 15% value added tax, said Nasir Uddin.
Some hotels even came up with a 50-70% discount, he added.
For transportation, 10 air conditioned (AC) microbuses with 12 seats,one AC microbus with 15 seats, one tourist coach, 2 non-AC buses with 45 seats and four BRTC double-deckers were hired to commute three times a day, which cost Tk46.98 lakh per month. The total cost stood at nearly Tk1 crore in a two-month period.
Nasir Uddin said the total expenditure for the doctors, nurses, health workers and Ansar members should be Tk26 crore in two months.
Assessing one month's expenditure, the DMC asked for Tk20 crore from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, which included Tk12.80 crore for hotel rents, Tk5.50 crore for food and Tk1.70 crore for transportation.
"You always seek a little extra while planning a budget. Even then, we will look into the matter of excessive food bills."
DMC will provide all proof, Nasir Uddin said.
Medicine Specialist Dr Billal Alam said doctors had fallen into depression knowing that they had consumed food amounting to Tk20 crore.
"The health sector is corrupt but doctors are not connected with such corruption. We also want a proper investigation into the issue and action over the anomaly [if any]," he added.
At the press conference, the hospital authorities asked all to investigate the addresses and phone numbers of the rented hotels and find out the truth.
Covid-19 recovery rate 88% at DMC
At the press briefing, the DMC director also referred to the situation relating to Covid-19 treatment in the hospital.
He said the recovery rate from Covid-19 at DMC was over 88 percent.
So far, 3,904 patients have been tested for the virus, of whom 1,589 have tested positive.
Some 1,580 people have recovered and 210 have died from the disease.
At least 150 doctors, 250 nurses and over 100 other medical workers have contracted the coronavirus till date. They have been quarantined in hotels in line with health protocols, said DMC Director Nasir.