The High Court on Sunday directed the health ministry to investigate the incident of 28 pieces of emergency medical equipment kept unused in boxes at 16 government hospitals across the country for years.
A division bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Md Mostafizur Rahman also issued a ruling asking the authorities concerned to explain why the inaction of respondents in this regard ought not to be declared illegal.
Twenty-only people including the health secretary, the director general of Directorate General of Health Service (DGHS), and the directors of 16 hospitals have been made respondents in the rule.
The court issued the order after hearing a public interest litigation petition filed by Supreme Court lawyer Manoj Kumar Bhowmik following a newspaper report.
On 24 August, a report was published in a national daily under the headline "28 machines boxed in 16 hospitals".
According to the report, the machines remain unopened in boxes at 16 hospitals. These include X-rays, ultrasonogram (USG) machines, ECGs, and ventilator instruments.
Some of these instruments have already become dysfunctional and some are about to ruin.
The hospital authorities cited the lack of manpower as the main reason for the equipment not being used. These devices could not be installed anywhere due to lack of technical support, said the report.
The boxed devices in various district medical college hospitals, district hospitals, and upazila health complexes include 13 X-rays, six ventilators, four USG machines, an ECG, a laparoscopy, a culture incubator, a hot air oven, and an autoclave machine.