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Paying and praising

Sources of nurses and the directorate said a nurse applied to the directorate for transfer from Habiganj’s Baniachang upazila to her hometown Dinajpur. She visited Dhaka five times from the workstation to lobby for the transfer but failed to get approval. She was successful in her bid to get transfer to her posting after depositing money in Jamal Uddin’s Sonali Bank account. The total amount was paid in two phases from Dinajpur’s Birganj. The nurse is now working at Kaharol upazila health complex in Dinajpur.

The nurse’s husband picked up a call made to her cellphone. He said they tried a lot for transfer. He refused to make any comment on the transaction of a bribe for transfer.

Earlier on 3 August, a nurse was transferred to Dinajpur’s M Abdur Rahim Medical College from Sheikh Hasina National Institute of Burn and Plastic Surgery in Dhaka. After two days, the nurse sent Tk 150,000 to Jamal Uddin’s bank account. The nurse did not deny the transaction. She rather asked why the journalist would investigate the matter since she had not made any complaint.

There is a shortage of nurses in the country. So the hospital authorities do not want to let go of nurses easily. Nurses generally show an inclination to work in their respective hometowns. So they want to transfer their postings even in exchange for bribes. A leader of a nurses association told Prothom Alo that every nurse who was transferred to Tangail in the last 8-10 months had to spend big sums of money as bribes.

A nurse from Tangail used to work in Dhaka Medical College Hospital. She deposited Tk 200,000 to Jamal Uddin’s bank account on 9 August. She was transferred to Dhanbari upazila health complex from DMCH on 23 August. Another nurse was transferred to Joypurhat Sadar Hospital from Sir Salimullah Medical College and Midford Hospital on 7 September. She deposited Tk 250,000 to Jamal Uddin’s account the following day.

A nurse, however, failed to get her desired transfer after paying Tk 100,000. As per the deposit slip, the nurse sent Tk 100,000 to the IFIC Bank account of M/S Jamal Enterprise on 6 December. The nurse is now working at Sheikh Hasina National Institute of Burn and Plastic Surgery. Nurses said M/S Jamal Enterprise is a company of Jamal Uddin.

Jamal Uddin told the nurse that the director general of DGNM is scheduled to go to Canada and the transfer would be made once he is back. The DG did not go to Canada, The transfer, however, was not made.

Bank sources said amounts ranging from Tk 59,042 to Tk 220,000 were sent to Jamal Uddin’s account from Cox’s Bazar, Narsingdi, Chattogram, Pirojpur, Moulvibazar, Syedpur and Dinajpur a total of 15 times from 14 to 29 September.

Rate Tk 220,000

A nurse of the National Heart Foundation contacted Jamal Uddin for the transfer of her sister. Jamal said the rate for transfer is Tk 220,000.

The nurse said she talked with Jamal at least two times regarding the transfer of her sister. He spoke in length about how the transfer would be made, the rate for transfer, how and where to give money.

Four cellphone numbers of Jamal Uddin could be collected from the nurses. They talked with him about these numbers at different times. The numbers, however, were switched off over the last two days.

Who is this Jamal Uddin?

Jamal Uddin is from Dudhkumra village of Bagulat union parishad under Kumarkhali upazila of Kushtia. He has earned a bad reputation in his village home. He is rather known as a cheater in the area.

A person of the area on condition of anonymity told Prothom Alo, “We don’t know how far he studied. We also don’t know what he does. But I’m sure he doesn’t do anything good.”

Many officials of DGNM know Jamal Uddin but the DG Siddika Akhter is an exception. While this correspondent showed her the picture of Jamal, Siddika said she never saw him.

Many officials of DGNM know Jamal Uddin but the DG Siddika Akhter is an exception. While this correspondent showed her the picture of Jamal, Siddika said she never saw him.

While informed that many others of DGNM know him, Siddika replied that she does not know all people who come to the directorate.

Leaders of the nurses association said Jamal is not alone, and many others are also involved with such corruption. Jamal Uddin had contacts with the officials involved in the transfer. Some of them have already gone to the United Kingdom for higher studies on their own expense and some will go soon.

Iftekharuzzaman, executive director of Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB), told Prothom Alo that such transfer ‘trade’ cannot take place without connivance of the DGNM high-ups. The officials involved are more culpable than the middlemen.

The authorities must launch further investigation from the information availed from the middlemen, identify the persons involved and punish them, Iftekharuzzman added.

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