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14 April 2024

RAB busts extensive network of brokers exploiting DMCH

Messenger Online

Published: 08:19, 5 March 2024

RAB busts extensive network of brokers exploiting DMCH

Photo : Collected

In a major crackdown, Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) -3 has arrested 58 active members of an extensive broker network at Dhaka Medical College Hospital involved in financial exploitation and commission gains through patient transfers to various private hospitals in the capital, including.

From the morning until noon on Monday (4 March), a comprehensive operation was conducted at DMCH, said Md Arifur Rahman, RAB- 3 deputy director (media).

The crackdown aimed at curbing financial exploitation and commission gains through patient transfers to several private hospitals where brokers played a significant role, he said.

Interrogation of the arrested members revealed that a complex network had evolved around patients seeking emergency medical care and their relatives. The primary focus of this network was new patients arriving from rural and suburban areas and the families of existing patients. Members of this broker network actively engaged in deceptive practices, misleading patients into being admitted to various private hospitals in the capital, said the RAB official.

Furthermore, the brokers were involved in activities such as patient admission, seat allocation, collecting examination reports, providing trolley services, and wheelchair assistance, all aimed at financial gains and commissions. Additionally, they misled patients about their diagnostic reports, convincing them to pay extra charges at different diagnostic centres.

During interrogation, it was uncovered that the wheelchair and trolley-centric broker network aggressively demanded higher amounts of money from the families of vulnerable patients, acting as a hurdle until the payment was made. Until the payment was settled, these brokers pressured the helpless patients and their families, added Arifur.

These brokers operated prominently near the emergency department, outdoor departments, OTs, wards, and cabins of the hospital. Besides providing false assurances of prompt and quality healthcare services, they quickly deceived patients into paying substantial amounts through misleading medical treatments within a short period, he also said.

Moreover, they collected blood from the streets during late hours and stored it in unsanitary conditions, later selling it at exorbitant prices to the families of critically ill patients. Exposing their malpractices could lead to aggressive and hostile actions against the patients and their families.

Legal procedures are now in progress against the arrested individuals to address the extensive exploitation and corruption within the hospital environment, the RAB official said.