All four closed ‘trap centers’ were operational in connivance with Health Department
JAMMU: Corruption in BJP has risen to alarming level in Jammu and Kashmir as none of its ministers have been able to implement their own orders.
A special drive launched by the Minister for Health and Medical Education Bali Bhagat against ‘illegal’ mushrooming of OPD centres in the City of Temples seems to have lost its sheen even before any strict action could be initiated against the violators.
The drive was launched to shore up the image of the BJP minister but it turned out to be an embarrassing affair. The Health Minister has not only failed to protect the hapless patients from falling in the trap of these greedy health care service providers but has also failed to initiate legal action against the violators for reasons best known to him.
As reported by STATE TIMES, in a series of reports, these OPD centres have been blatantly violating norms yet neither any action has been initiated nor any punishment has been fixed for playing with the lives of poor patients. Even the State Vigilance Organisation, Jammu Municipal Corporation and state police have failed to take suo-moto cognizance of large scale malpractices to stop this illegal trading of hapless patients.
The fact that the orders issued by the Director Health Services, Jammu on March 11, 2017, to shut down at least four such OPD centres/private clinics have not been implemented in letter and spirit speaks volumes about the clout of the owners of these centres. All these centres continue to enroll patients and register them for treatment without facing any punishment.
A team of senior officers of the Health Department had earlier conducted the raids on the directions of the Health Minister Bali Bhagat upon Hardas Orthopedic OPD Clinic, near Airport, Dr Gurvinder Singh’s Hargun OPD Clinic, Gandhi Nagar, Fortis Escorts OPD Clinic, Trikuta Nagar and Amandeep Multi-Specialty OPD Clinic, Greater Kailash Chowk.
Today, all these clinics are operational in Jammu. According to the managements, no closure orders have been received by them, though the orders issued by Health Department were widely circulated by the Department of Information to the media.
Talking to STATE TIEMS, Bali Bhagat had even said, “I will get FIR registered against these illegal clinics, who will operate on Sunday.”
Not only this the role of silent partners, who are supporting and facilitating illegal mushrooming of these centres, have also come under the scanner during preliminary investigations.
Ironically, the higher authorities in the State Health Department including Cabinet Minister Bali Bhagat have turned a Nelson’s eye towards these irregularities.
Insiders in the State Health Department claimed the promoters of these private hospitals are very well connected with higher authorities in the department and it is for this reason no concrete action has followed even after formal orders to shut down these centres was issued.
Even the Health and Medical Education Minister seems to have forgotten his own commitment of lodging FIRs against the violators and have been deliberately delaying any concrete action warranted under law to permanently shut down these centres.
A retired Professor of Government Medical College (GMC) Hospital told STATE TIMES, ‘ the OPD centres of these big hospitals have were running due to connivance of State Health Department, local police and other State government agencies entrusted with the responsibility of checking the menace of such centres to ensure hapless patients were not taken for a ride by greedy institutions in the name of providing them health care services”.
According to the senior Professor, all former health ministers tried to shore up their image and public profile by giving statements and issuing press notes announcing their resolve to deal with the menace of these illegal OPD centres rather trap these but when it came to cracking their whip they failed to do so and allegedly succumbed due to certain vested interests. Closure orders against these four centers were issued on March 11, 2017, to increase the rate of bribe, he lamented, adding “why Health Minister doesn’t take action when these agents spread messages to lure patients through media and social-media?
Following the STATE TIMES’ expose, the OPD centre of Medanta Hospital cancelled today’s appointments with the patients. Fearing action, the agent running Medanta OPD managed to skip although the appointments with the doctors have been rescheduled, told an office boy at Medanta OPD centre to the visitors.
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© 2016 State Times Daily Newspaper