MCD health officer held

Devesh K. Pandey

Alleged scam in purchase of sub-standard Ayurvedic medicines

Over a dozen more persons, mostly doctors, are under the scanner

NEW DELHI: An alleged scam in purchase of sub-standard Ayurvedic medicines worth over Rs.4.5 crore for Municipal Corporation of Delhi-run hospitals has been unearthed. A serving deputy health officer and a retired one have been arrested. Over a dozen more persons, mostly doctors, are under the scanner.

The Anti-Corruption Branch of the Delhi Government recently received a complaint alleging that sub-standard Ayurvedic medicines had been bought in bulk for MCD-run hospitals during 2006-08. The scam was detected when the vigilance wing of the civic agency came across irregularities in purchases.

The vigilance officials collected 13 samples of the medicine from different hospitals and got them examined in laboratories. Test results revealed that none of the samples conformed to the requirements of the Ayurvedic Formulary India. It is learnt that a costly ingredient of the medicine, apparently “swarn bhasma”, was virtually non-existent.

Investigations also revealed that while procuring the medicines, purchase formalities were seen through in a very casual manner, leaving scope for supply of sub-standard materials. Also the culprits sidelined reputed suppliers of Ayurvedic medicines and chose to buy the medicine from lesser known firms. It is learnt that the medicines were shown to have been procured from a company.

On Wednesday, the Anti-Corruption Branch sleuths seized several documents during searches at some houses, medical stores and hospitals including Ballimaran Hospital, Yamuna Bazar Store and Bhushan Pharmaceutical.

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