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Purchase procedure of hospital under scanner

Special Correspondent
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Material supplier claiming proximity to Minister blacklisted

A material supplier to the Government Rajaji Hospital (GRH) here, who is alleged to have been putting enormous pressure on the hospital authorities for bagging orders by claiming proximity to the Health Minister, has been ‘blacklisted’ and put under scanner.

While a few other suppliers who also take orders have been kept under scanner, the hospital authorities have made it clear that there will be no room for “brokers, middlemen, mediators and individual suppliers” in purchase.

Hospital sources told The Hindu on Wednesday that some local suppliers who were found to be interfering in GRH affairs by claiming their “connections” at Chennai have been identified after a thorough review of purchase system by the top brass of the Health Department.

The review was done last week during the visit of Additional Health Secretary P. K. Bansal and instructions were given not to encourage private individuals for placing orders through local purchases.

While the Tamil Nadu Medical Services Corporation takes care of the major supplies to the GRH, it is the private suppliers who regularly get orders for stretchers, wheelchairs, furniture and so on. Enquiries have revealed that these individuals have been “influencing” the hospital authorities by using the name of Health Minister to place orders with select companies.

When contacted, the GRH Dean, N. Mohan, agreed that complaints were received against a few individuals who were recommending names to whom the orders must be placed.

“We have blacklisted one supplier on the advice of Madurai South MLA R. Annadurai. I am striking off the names of some companies from the list when purchase orders have to be placed under local purchases,” he said.

Dr. Mohan has assured that he will not allow any shady dealings in the hospital.

“Hereafter, only reputed companies will be entertained and there is no scope for pressure from any quarter. Mr. Bansal and Collector are very particular that there must be transparency in purchases. All procedures will be followed by the purchases committee and its decision is final,” he said.

He stated that fund utilisation must be done as per rules and regulations and “no group will be able to dominate GRH.”

However, a few senior doctors have expressed concern over the open collusion of suppliers with hospital administration. “The person who is now blacklisted is known for his tactics and the purchase committee is forced to accept what he says. Can we allow it to happen,” he asked.

Mr.Annadurai, MLA, when contacted, said that the purchase system should be revamped to save it from contractors.

“When I was staging a dharna outside GRH for medicines, a private supplier called me on my mobile to say that the Health Minister wanted him to withdraw the agitation. This is the state of affairs and high time we shun those persons,” the MLA said. He appealed to the Dean to implement open tender system in a transparent manner.

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