Colossal waste of public money in G T Hospital

Machinery worth Rs 56.08 lakh lying unusedin South Mumbai hospital


Geetanjali Minhas | July 6, 2011

A Right to Information (RTI )inquiry on audit of state governments’  GT Hospital   has revealed stupendous  waste of public money  and  government resources  in public hospitals  coupled with total lack of interest on part of its staff  to pass on benefits of latest technology to its patients.

The  accounts  of 521- bed south Mumbai  located hospital  for the period  2007 - 2009 show how machinery  worth  Rs 56.08 lakhs  has been lying idle for years  and staffers  have been occupying  prime property without paying required rents and electricity bills.

Twelve different  types of machines  including X Ray  machines ,ventilators were lying idle since last seven months to five years and were  later discarded  on the pretext of having become outdated .

Quoting a source from the hospital, the paper says, “for every new machine purchased , some doctors enjoy hefty kickbacks”.

Refuting the fact, the Medical Superintendent of GT Hospital, Dr. AP Chaudhary  denied  any machine lying  unused in the hospital since 2009. "Some of those machines had gone for repairs , which took unusually long” and added , “there are many that became outdated so we could not use them," he told the Times of India.

The inquiry further reveals that without paying electricity consumption charges  for personal use  as many as 36 employees occupying government  quarters  have run up a bill of 13 lakh for the hospital.

Chaudahry defended this by saying that they have starting recovering the money from staffers. “According to insiders many staffers who retired long back are still occupying  government quarters and paying a pittance as rent. Grade IV staffers association has been occupying office and living space at Rs 5,000 per annum” reported the daily.

In another instance, a twelve story building  in the hospital premises  which was to provide super specialty  services to the patients  has remained unused since 1982 . It cost the exchequer  Rs 45.86 crore  for  its construction and maintenance .  Until last week the building was embroiled in a court battle.

Without paying charges, food suppliers  and laundry services were using government  resources.Between 2007 and 2009, bills worth more than 1.1 crore  were raised on account of patients dietary requirements. A senior professor affiliated with the hospital said that most patients while undergoing treatment have to spend from their own pockets to meet their nutritional requirement .

Another startling  revelation in the audit shows that in 2008-2009 budget ,when Union Government  had slashed excise  duty on medicines from 16% to 8 percent , thirty there drug suppliers who supply bulk  medicines  to GT Hospital  did not  pass the benefit to the hospital  which resulted in  loss of Rs 1.60 lakh to the government exchequer between April and November 2008.




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