At present, when there is an urgent need to make efforts to maintain the health of citizens in the background of corornavirus pandemic, some selfish elements are busy indulging in scams. One such scam in the medical field was found in the ‘Rugna Kalyan Samiti’ at District Hospital Alibag. Under the ‘National Health Campaign’, many irregularities and scams were found in the audit for the year 2017-18 conducted in respect of ‘Patient Welfare Committee’ at District Hospital Alibag, through the documents received under the RTI Act. In this regard, ‘Arogya Sahayya Samiti lodged a complaint with the Government with evidence in respect of ‘Rugna Kalyan Samiti’ Alibag. We have demanded with the Chief Minister Uddhavji Thackeray and the Principle Secretary of the Health Department that a thorough investigation should be conducted and criminal cases should be lodged against the concerned. In this case, the Principle Secretary has issued orders to the Director, National Health Mission and Dy. Director (Health), Thane for taking further necessary action. We are narrating ahead some examples of these scams.
1. In August 2017, while submitting bills for Rs. 8826 towards tea and snacks at the ‘Mega Campaign for Organ Donation’, bogus bills for April, July and December were attached.
2. In July 2017, costly Kangaroo Mother Care chairs were unnecessarily purchased. The bill for this purchase was paid in advance, no action was taken against the supplier for not supplying the material within the time schedule.
3. For purchasing medical supplies (PPIUCD FORCEPS), the grant of Rs. 22,000 from ‘Patients Welfare Committee’ funds were spent though the Government scheme for such purchases exists.
4. In September 2017, while purchasing 12 curtains for Gynaecology section, a bill for Rs. 2,700 was passed without the permission of concerned authorities. Similarly, the size of curtains and other details were not mentioned.
5. Work to stop leakage of water from the pipeline near Khadtal bridge was to be undertaken. For this work, 2-days alternative arrangements were to be made. However, an additional expenditure of Rs. 7,000 for 4 days was made.
6. To place the logo of ‘Janani Shishu Yojana’ on 2 ambulances, excessive expenditure of Rs. 18,267 was made. Instead of making it from the Government scheme, the funds of ‘Patients Welfare Committee’ were used.
Although the District Collector, Raigad is the Chairman of Governing Council of ‘Rugna Kalyan Samiti’, such scams have taken place. No action was taken despite instructions from the Chief Minister. This is a very serious matter. The work done by corona-warriors deserves appreciation; however, no one should practice corruption by taking disadvantage of such a situation. Therefore, the Health Department should take immediate action against the concerned officers. Failing which, we will be constrained to lodge criminal cases against the accused and also make those who back the accused as co-accused, warned ‘Arogya Sahayya Samiti’.