Mumbai: Shatabdi Hospital head accused of misusing position to make money

Updated: Jan 25, 2018, 21:10 IST | Samiullah Khan

Over 30 staff and doctors from BMC-run hospital in Kandivli issue complaint against 'unconstitutional' appointment of administrative medical officer; allege that he his misusing position to make money

Shatabdi Hospital in Kandivli
Shatabdi Hospital in Kandivli

In the hope of nipping corruption in the bud, a group of 30 staff and doctors from BMC-run Shatabdi Hospital in Kandivli, have come together to overthrow their administrative medical officer Dr Haridas Rathod, who they alleged was appointed unconstitutionally in 2016, by the former chief medical officer Dr Pradeep Jadhav.

The written complaint which has been sent to chief medical officer Dr Shashikant Wadekar
The written complaint which has been sent to chief medical officer Dr Shashikant Wadekar

Their grouse, however, is not limited to his "illegal" appointment. The doctors claimed that Dr Rathod is colluding with a few other senior doctors, and misusing his position to make profits. The staff has now launched a signature drive, and have sent a written complaint to the present chief medical officer Dr Shashikant Wadekar. They have also provided documentary proof to expose the corruption.

Rampant corruption
A doctor, on condition of anonymity, claimed that Dr Jadhav, who was appointed as chief medical officer between August 2016 and December last year, had appointed Dr Rathod to the post of administrative officer, soon after he took charge. As per BMC rules, the post is only given to a senior doctor, with experience of 18 to 20 years as medical officer.

Dr Pradeep Jadhav and Dr Haridas Rathod, who are in the eye of the storm
Dr Pradeep Jadhav and Dr Haridas Rathod, who are in the eye of the storm

"But, Dr Rathod had barely completed one year as medical officer," the doctor alleged. "In return for this position, Dr Rathod has been giving lakhs of rupees to Dr Jadhav and other doctors, who were involved in the appointment, from the profits he was making by extorting patients at the hospital," the doctor alleged.

Dr Haridas Rathod
Dr Haridas Rathod

Elaborating on his corrupt practices, another doctor, who did not wish to be named, said that Dr Rathod would buy medicines in bulk from a chemist shop owned by his wife Megha Pradip, which ran under the government scheme, Pradhan Mantri Janaushadalay Yojna. "BMC tender rules state that the supplier cannot be related to the hospital staff in any way," the doctor said.

The medicines to the chemist shop were in turn being supplied by Tie Life Science Pvt Ltd, which is co-owned by the wife of Dr Mrudul Dubey, a senior doctor currently attached with Shatabdi Hospital, and Dr Palakraj Kamvani, who is the assistant medical officer at Bhagwati Hospital. "Why were doctors attached with the hospital involved in the supply of medicines?" the doctor claimed.

Another doctor said that the hospital would send patients to pathology labs, where they were overcharged. "The BMC has stipulated charges for different tests. For instance, patients are supposed to be charged Rs 800 for a 2D Echo Test. However, at these labs, they were being charged Rs 1,200 to Rs 2,000," said the doctor. "The commission was going to these doctors."

The other side
Present chief medical officer Dr Shashikant Wadekar confirmed that he had received the complaint. "I have shared the letter with the higher authorities and will take a decision accordingly," he said. When contacted, Dr Rathod described the allegations as "baseless".

"These complainants are trying to harass me because they have received memos for illegally practising outside," he said. Former medical officer Dr Pradeep Jadhav claimed that he had "neither appointed Dr Rathod nor been in contact with him". The doctors have, however, found support in medical superintendent Dr Prashant Angre. "Those who have made these allegations have done so only to denigrate the hospital."

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