Staff Reporter

Vigilance Enforcement Office submits report to Government

Drugs sold to the DMHO at an astronomical price after bloating the costs: report

Irregularities are also detected in the FP operations conducted in the district

GUNTUR: Regional Vigilance Enforcement Office, Guntur has detected large-scale irregularities in the purchase of drugs under Family Planning programmes by the District Medical and Health Officer.

In a report submitted to the State Government, the Vigilance Office has said the purchase of drugs in flagrant violation of the norms has caused a significant loss of Rs.61.71 lakh to the Government in 2008-2009.

The report stated that drugs, which were purchased by supplying firms for Rs.22.21 lakh, were sold to the DMHO at an astronomical price of Rs.83.92 lakh, after bloating the costs.

The DMHO usually purchases nearly Rs.40 lakhs worth of medicines under the F.P programme from the general budget grants and through indents from central stores of the Andhra Pradesh Health & Medical Housing & Infrastructure Development Corporation (APHMHIDC). However, the DMHO has the discretion to place bulk orders if the drugs are not available with the APHMHIDC.

While the guidelines for purchase of drugs laid out in the National Rural Health Mission and Finance and Accounts manual state that all medicines and drugs should be purchased from the authorised stores of the A.P. Medical & Health Infrastructures Corporation, Hyderabad, the DMHO has called for quotations from private firms. The DMHO had also given the tender process a go-by and instead split the bid amounts to a staggering 85 times.

Irregularities were also detected in the FP operations conducted in the district. While the total number of FP operations conducted in the district was 38,139, it was found that the operations conducted at the Government run hospitals were 21,733.

The charges for drugs and dressings are Rs.50 and Rs.100 respectively for vasectomy and tubectomy and Rs.20- for IUD insertions for those sterilized in Government Hospital.

But a private medical practitioner gets Rs.1,300 and Rs.1,350 for vasectomy and tubectomy respectively. By wrongly projecting the number of FP operations, the DMHO has allegedly siphoned off funds to the tune of Rs.25.58 lakh to purchase drugs.