Government accepts MLA’s demand for enquiry

Heeding to the demand of Madurai South MLA R. Annadurai, the Health Department conducted an enquiry at the Government Rajaji Hospital in Madurai on Friday to probe in to the alleged irregularities in purchase of essential drugs and medicines.

The Health Department had rushed N. Muthurajan, Deputy Director in the Directorate of Medical Education, to Madurai to conduct the investigation and submit a report. “I had completed the task assigned to me and shall submit the report in a couple of the days to the State Government. The issues raised by the MLA were investigated,” Dr. Muthurajan told The Hindu after a six-hour enquiry.

In the morning, Mr. Annadurai staged a dharna in front of the GRH main gate demanding for a comprehensive departmental enquiry and action against erring officials.

“There is something wrong in the tenders called for purchase of medicines from private parties. I have complained against the GRH Dean N. Mohan and the Health Minister has assured that action will be taken after investigation. My concern is that the Government funds and the Chief Minister’s insurance scheme should be used effectively since public money is involved,” the MLA has said. He alleged that the Government funds meant for poor patients are being misused to purchase medicines at higher rates from private companies through local purchases.

“The administration is right now very bad in this hospital. Also, the MRI scan facility should be available round-the-clock and t thereis shortage of important medicines,” Mr. Annadurai had complained.

As the MLA sat on dharna, the hospital authorities invited him to speak to the Deputy Director of Medical Education who had been deputed to conduct a probe.

Hospital sources have said that there are at least four groups in GRH which are working at cross-purpose to settle scores with each other. “Local purchases are allowed by the Tamil Nadu Medical Services Corporation and it gives permission periodically to buy medicines from local suppliers. The tenders which were earlier called have been cancelled now,” a senior official said.

According to authorities, the Store Medical Officer of GRH had put up a note objecting to the purchase of drugs at exorbitant rates and he had recalled for fresh tenders. “This had upset the higher ups in the hospital. A meeting of Drug Audit Committee was held to discuss the issue of tenders and how to procure medicines,” officials said.

“Dr. Muthurajan looked in to all micro details and he was apprised of how Government funds were being mishandled in the GRH,” a senior doctor said. Sources said that the resignation of Store Medical Officer Dr. Senthamarai over the issue of irregularities had led to this enquiry.

A hospital employee who was called for the enquiry said that people can understand the severity of the scam in GRH from the fact that it was getting ready to buy a medicine at Rs.90 while it actually costs only Rs.19.

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