The health department on Friday directed senior officials to look into allegations that patients visiting Darbhanga Medical College and Hospital are asked to buy medicines and surgical tools from outside.
The issue came into limelight after some complainants approached senior district administrative officials, who alleged that touts were forcing patients to buy medicines from some particular shops outside the hospital.
“We received information from district officials and an inquiry has been ordered on Friday. If the hospital authorities are found involved, strict action will be taken,” said a senior health department official. According to complaints received by Darbhanga district administration, quality of service provided by the hospital is of a very low quality and patients are hardly given free medicine.
Peeved with the state of affairs at the facility, some even went to weekly janata durbar of Darbhanga district magistrate Narmadeshwar Lal earlier this week, who later carried out an inspection of the institution and prima facie found the allegations of corruption and fraud to be true.
“There are also charges that the condition of gynaecology and obstetrics departments is particularly bad and patients need to buy medicines, accessories and surgical tools worth at least Rs 2,000-Rs 2,500 for every delivery even though these operations are supposed to be free,” the official said.
One of the complainants, Suraj Singh, who wrote the letter to health department principal secretary Vyasji claimed that “DMCH was the worst health hub in the state and had become a den of corruption.”
“When patients are admitted, their hope is to get basic treatment free of cost. Instead, patients have to shell out even for the simplest of treatments and tests,” the letter said.
It further read: “The radiology department where 800-1,000 patients are lined up for X-ray or ultrasonography everyday is under the grip of touts, right under the nose of the administration. As the patients or their relatives cannot afford the diagnoses outside they choose to pay Rs 100-Rs 500 to the touts and get the tests done in the connivance of the department employees.”