The DMCH director says the authorities are working to clear the dues by the end of June
The Bangladesh International Hotel Association (BIHA) has organized a human chain demanding the payment of Tk40 crore due from hotel quarantine and food supply to doctors, nurses, officers and employees of Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Employees of 30 hotels with star status took part in the human chain in front of the DMCH administrative building on Monday.
BIHA claimed that the hotels were yet to get any payment for the period July-September 2020.
The protesters threatened to wage a tougher movement if they did not get the payment by June 30.
BIHA Co-Chairman Khaled Ur Rahman said: “One of the conditions of the agreement with DMCH was that the hotel authorities would submit the bill to the hospital authorities every 10 days and the hospital would clear the payment within seven working days.”
“We could not manage to get the payment even after visiting the DMCH administration and the Health Ministry,” he alleged.
As the 2020-2021 fiscal year is coming to an end on June 30, Khaled said: “The money allocated for the hospital will be returned without our payment being made.”
“Our bills have been approved by the Health Ministry but we are yet to receive the payment,” he claimed.
Following the human chain programme, the BIHA submitted a memorandum to DMCH Director Brig Gen Nazmul Haque.
The DMCH director told Dhaka Tribune that the bills of the DMCH officials staying at hotels before the three-month time frame had already been paid. Only the bills of July to September, when the government asked all health workers to stay at hotels, were due.
“When all the health workers started staying at the hotels, there were some criticisms in this regard. A special audit team came to investigate and found some methodical anomalies. We are working on them to ensure that such anomalies are never repeated,” he added.
“We are waiting to get approval on many issues from the Health Ministry to overcome the methodical anomalies. That is why the payment is being delayed,” Brig Gen Nazmul said.
“We are trying to solve the problem and clear the dues by the end of this month,” the DMCH director held out the assurance.
As per government instructions, the health workers of the DMCH checked out of hotels within September 22 last year, Nazmul stated.