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were lying idle since last seven months to five years and were later discarded on the pretext of having become outdated .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 "Some of those machines had gone for repairs , which took unusually long” and added , “there are many that became outdated so we could not use them," he told the Times of India.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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