Lokayukta police file charge sheet in hospital lab scam

Lokayukta police file charge sheet in hospital lab scam

The Lokayukta police have filed the charge sheet in the case of irregularities in the purchase of medical equipment and chemicals for laboratories at district hospitals. The charge sheet pertains to the irregularities in the tender process for the Udupi district hospital

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Two pathologists of Udupi district hospital had blown the whistle on this scam. The charge sheet has named three doctors from Udupi district hospital, a senior official said.

The accused named in the charge sheet are the then district Surgeons Dr Anand Nayak, Dr Chandrashekhar Adiga and Dr Dayanand Nayak, who passed way a couple of years ago.

The Lokayukta police have pressed charges under Prevention of Corruption Act.
The charge sheet stated that the tender process was improper and facilitated the suppliers to make huge profits at the expense of the State exchequer and poor patients.

The tender specification allowed a particular company to supply the chemicals for the machines.

Pathologist Dr Sharat Rao, along with another pathologist Dr Veena Rao, had in 2013 sent an e-mail to the then Principal Secretary of Health department Madan Gopal, detailing the scam in the purchase of lab equipment and chemicals.

Although a vigilance officer appointed thereafter submitted a report confirming the scam, no action was taken.

Suspended

However, Dr Rao was placed under suspension in September 2013, based on a complaint of cheating.  The case against Dr Rao was based on an unrelated private complaint by a woman.

He was reinstated after an year under suspension. The Health department is yet to order an enquiry on the complaint against Dr Rao. 

The Lokayukta police, based on media reports, had taken up a suo motu case in the chemical scam.

‘Loss to exchequer’

“The irregularities in the tender process were found to be the same in many other district hospitals. The tender conditions were such that only one particular company could supply the chemicals to the machines provided by the very company, which escalated the cost per test.

This was corroborated with the cost per test in other government hospitals, which did not float such tenders. The act of the accused surgeons and other officials caused loss to the exchequer,” an official said.

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