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Another scam in Delhi: LG VK Saxena recommends CBI probe into lab tests prescribed at mohalla clinics after inquiry found massive irregularities

Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena has requested that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) inquire into free laboratory examinations performed at Aam Aadmi Party government-run mohalla clinics. This development came after the health department’s preliminary evaluation of impact research revealed “massive irregularities” in the procedure. Thousands of “ghost patients who probably did not even exist” were reportedly recommended free laboratory tests as part of a random impact analysis that was carried out at seven mohalla clinics.

The investigation, based on officials, was required when it was discovered that the doctors assigned to these seven mohalla clinics spread across the South-West, Shahdara, and North-East districts would not show for duty and would instead record their presence on bio-metric systems using pre-recorded videos. While some doctors would reach the clinics well after others and yet record full attendance, others would skip work entirely.

A source disclosed, “Last year, it emerged that doctors were not coming to mohalla clinics but were still shown as present. It was found that despite their absence, tests and medicines were being prescribed. Later, it was found that tests were conducted on ghost patients. Following this, a CBI probe has been ordered.”

A formal complaint was filed against these physicians in September 2023, leading to their de-paneling and an assessment was conducted using a sample of the lab test results from these mohalla clinics over a three-month period from July to September which was obtained from two lab service providers. An official informed, “The report of the impact assessment study conducted by the health and family department of the Delhi government reveals that there were 11,657 records at these seven mohalla clinics where patients’ mobile number was mentioned as ‘0’. In 8,251 cases, the column of the mobile number was left blank and in 3,092 cases the mobile numbers were entered as ‘9999999999’.”

Furthermore, the study unveiled that 400 entries of patients with nonexistent mobile numbers beginning with 1–5 were found, per officials and in 999 cases, the same mobile number was cited about 15 or more patients. “Since doctors at Mohalla Clinics marked attendance through pre-recorded videos, the question is who prescribed these tests and medicines to patients, non-medical staff,” asked an officer.

The residential areas of Jaffar Kalan, Ujwa, Shikarpur, Gopal Nagar, Dhansa, Jagjeet Nagar and Bihari Colony regions housed the seven mohalla clinics where the impact assessment was performed. The number of free lab tests offered at state-run hospitals and mohalla clinics was raised from 212 to 450 by the Delhi government in December 2022. According to sources, the LG requested an audit of the tests that are suggested at the health institutions to gauge the effect, even though he approved the proposal. An official from the LG’s secretariat stated, “Clearly, the directions of the LG were not complied with. The scam may run into hundreds of crores of rupees.”

According to accounts, the mohalla clinics performed fictitious pathology and radiology exams without any patients.

Notably, the Lieutenant Governor had directed the agency to conduct an additional probe into the purported provision of inferior medications to government hospitals in Delhi a few days earlier. The conclusion that these medications when tested at government and commercial laboratories were “not of standard quality” alarmed him, based on a memo he sent to the Chief Secretary. He added that these medications were being distributed to mohalla clinics and were being administered to thousands of patients at Delhi’s government hospitals.

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Searched termsmohalla clinics scam
OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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