Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan on Sunday said a medical board will be formed to check the health condi-tion of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and make recommendations to take necessary steps for her medical treatment.
The minister came up with the information while talking to reporters after a meeting with a seven-member delegation of BNP at the Secretariat. BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir led the delegation.
"A BNP delegation came to me to talk about the health condition of Khaleda Zia. They've submitted a written statement that their chairperson is sick," Asaduzzaman said.
The minister said BNP earlier had made a request to admit Khaleda to a specialised hospital but today they submitted a written statement in this regard.
"As per the written statement, we've asked the Public Security Division Secretary under the Home Ministry and the Inspector General of Prison to form a medical board with government and Khaleda's personal physicians. They'll conduct medical tests and necessary measures will be taken, if needed, based on their recommenda-tions," the minister told the journalists.
Asaduzzaman said Khaleda Zia has been suffering from various diseases, including arthritis. "Following the request of BNP, we've allowed an attendant to stay with her in the jail. Physiotherapists, physicians and phar-macists are going to jail regularly to check her. We've provided her with all the facilities to her as per the jail code," he added.
The minister said he told the BNP delegation that a medical board will be formed and necessary steps will be taken following the recommendations to be made by the board.
Replying to a question whether there is any possibility of taking Khaleda to another hospital, Asaduzzaman said: "She's allowed to receive treatment at government hospitals as per the jail code. I've told them before that there're many public hospitals other than Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) but they didn't agree..."
In response to another query, he said, "She'll be taken to any specialised hospital if the physicians think there's no required facility in the PG and other government hospitals then we'll look into it."
Asked about Khaleda's health condition, Asaduzzaman said "There's no such information to me she's very sick. The physicians check her regularly and the prison authorities are also taking care of her."
Responding to a question when actually the medical board will be formed, he said, "It'll be formed soon."
Insisted whether Khaleda will be taken where she will feel comfortable, the Home Minister said, "There's no scope to consider it according to the jail code."
Earlier in the day, a delegation of BNP met Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan and requested him to take nec-essary steps for ensuring better medical treatment of their ailing Chairperson Khaleda Zia at the city's United Hospital.
The seven-member delegation, led by BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, went to the Secre-tariat to meet the Home Minister at his office around 3:00 pm and made the request.
Talking to reporters after the meeting, Mirza Fakhrul said, "Our Chairperson Khaleda Zia is in jail. Her health condition is deteriorating. We came here to talk to the minister regarding her health condition and requested him to take necessary steps for ensuring her treatment in a specialised hospital."
Asked what the Home Minister said, Fakhrul said, "The minister said they'll decide it after holding a meeting."
Pressed for comments which specialized hospital they prefer, the BNP leader said, "Our chairperson prefers United Hospital and I think she'll be admitted there as she's ill."
BNP standing committee members Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Barrister Jamir Uddin Sircar, Rafiqul Islam Miah, Mirza Abbas, Dr Moyeen Khan and Nazrul Islam Khan were among the delegation members.