Those responsible should be brought under law

On 12 April, Prothom Alo published a report of irregularities in the recruitment process for more than 2,500 posts under the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS). Although the people concerned at the time denied the allegation, the health ministry cancelled the recruitment process five months later, proving that the Prothom Alo's report was correct.

During the pandemic, the DGHS took initiative to fill the shortage of technical manpower in government hospitals. The report of Prothom Alo further mentioned that a member of the recruitment board was also offered bribes and a promotion to help candidates pass the viva voce. The proposal was made by a deputy secretary of another ministry.

A notification issued by the health ministry on Tuesday said that the Health Services Department has formed a committee to investigate the recruitment of medical technologists, medical technicians and cardiographers under DGHS. In the light of the investigation report submitted by the committee, health minister Zahid Maleque has instructed that, as the investigation report has found 'ambiguity' in the written examination paper, the recruitment process should be cancelled and new appointments should be made within a short time by publishing a new circular.

We appreciate this decision of the ministry. However, the silly reason given in the notification for cancelling the recruitment process, which is 'ambiguity in the written exam papers', is completely untrue. In a letter to the health secretary, a member of the recruitment committee alleged that he had been offered Tk 10 million in cash and later offered more money and promotions.

Also Read

Therefore, cancelling the recruitment process is not enough. Legal action must be taken against those involved in the recruitment process, especially those who offered to bribe a member of the recruitment committee. In a statement, Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) demanded the formation of an impartial inquiry committee and legal action against those responsible.

We also think that the health ministry may convey the wrong message by not taking any action against those who have tried to adopt unfair means in the recruitment process. Many will think that they can get away with corruption.

What is the guarantee that these people will not reach out to another committee and do the same in any other recruitment process? As long as there are such persons in the ministry, the ministry and the DGHS will not be free from corruption. The name of the former director general of the DGHS has also been mentioned in the widely discussed Shahed case.

Prothom Alo has published several reports on various irregularities and incidents of corruption in the health ministry before and after the incident, none of which was investigated. No action was taken against anyone. The people have the right to know what steps have been taken by the ministry to stop the corruption and irregularities.