Order against use of hospital society funds

Even as the authorities of the Government Medical College Hospital (MCH) here are trying to expedite the renovation and reconstruction of the Casualty and Trauma wing of the hospital, an order secured from the High Court by the MCH Hospital Development Society “to maintain status quo” has thrown a spanner in the works.

The court gave the order to maintain status quo following a petition filed by a member of the MCH Hospital Development Society that its funds were being diverted for the construction work of the Casualty wing without the knowledge or concurrence of the society.

The renovation of the Casualty wing had been originally part of the works sanctioned under the Rs.120-crore Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY). However, as the funds became insufficient, the government had, through a GO, directed that about Rs.3.98 crore be allowed from the MCH Hospital Development Society.

Sources said approximately Rs.6 crore had been earmarked under the PMSSY funds for the work. Phase I – the project is handled by HLL Lifecare Ltd. – was over, and work on Phase II was on.

The government had directed that funds of the Hospital Development Society could be used as completion of Casualty wing was a priority for the hospital.

However, the society general body opposed the move claiming that the funds generated by the society were to be utilised for the welfare of its employees.

Department stance

However, sources in the Health Department said the funds generated by the society through the user fee charges collected from the public, for various facilities created in the hospital by the government, were primarily for the development of the hospital itself

It was pointed out that audit objections had been raised several times over the fact that the society was “hoarding” money in banks as fixed deposits, and not utilising it for the hospital’s development.

The hospital authorities expressed hope that the impasse would be resolved soon so that the Casualty work could be completed without delay.