Odisha govt forms panel after CAG rap; appoints officer indicted as head

Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Apr 7:

Strange indeed are the ways of the Odisha government. The Director of Medical Education & Training (DMET), who was reprimanded by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) for his failure to act against gross violation of the Clinical Establishment Act (CEA) by private hospitals and nursing homes, has been appointed as the chairman of the state level committee formed by the government on Monday to probe the violation of the same Act by those very same institutions!

private hospital

The five-member committee, led by the DMET director as chairman, has the director of Capital Hospital, member secretary of the Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB), IG, (Fire Brigade) and the police commissioner or his representative as its members. The joint director, DMET is the convener of the committee.

Health and Family Welfare minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak said the committee would conduct raids on nursing homes running illegally in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack in the first phase while similar raids would be conducted at the district level in the next phase.

During the raids, the committee would investigate the circumstances under which the chief district medical officers (CDMOs) had provided licenses to the private nursing homes. Besides, it would also identify the nursing homes that have not taken steps to prevent fire mishaps.

It may be mentioned that the CAG, in its report, had stated that the state government was aware of the gross irregularities in these private hospitals and nursing homes in the state which have been operating for years without a valid licence. These private hospitals have also been charging exorbitant fees from the patients towards the tests, the CAG had pointed out.

Many of these private hospitals, which were provided government land on the condition of providing free treatment to the patients belonging to BPL family, have not kept their promise, the report added.

Besides, the CAG had also pointed fingers at the DMET for awarding licence to these private hospitals in spite of receiving reports from the CDMOs about the shortage of required doctors, pharmacists and nurses.

“The committee would investigate how the top officials were unaware of such irregularities and at which level these irregularities were committed,” the Health and Family Welfare minister told reporters here.

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