Health department faces govt action

The department bought equipment from two dubious companies despite high rates

It took a year for the health department to take action against those involved in the the medical scam during the Commonwealth Games, 2010. According to sources, then Director of Health Services (DHS), S Bhattacharjee, who was working as medical superintendent of DDU hospital, has been suspended after the department was found guilty.

In a meeting on Thursday, a letter, which included the suspension order, was issued to the department. A complaint had been filed against him regarding the purchase of medical equipment at higher rates as compared to the market.

"The order was issued in the evening. The word came out after Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) and Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) gave their final reports," said one of the officials from the Health department on the condition of anonymity.

All wrong
MiD DAY was first to report how one of the companies contracted to supply emergency medical equipment to 22 hospitals, as preparation for CWG, didn't even have a registered office. The other was already blacklisted at the time of bidding.

The two companies-Lord Krishna and Mangalam Medicaments-had backed out of their commitment to supply equipment ranging from stethoscopes and scoop stretcher to ultrasound machines.

Reportedly, the firms were under the scanner as they had allegedly secured the order despite quoting exorbitant rates. Some of the health officials, however, were not in the favour of the former director's suspension. "He has been suspended, but the reason is not CWG. He was found involved in a scam related to the purchase of medical equipment at higher rates," they said.

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