THE AHMEDABAD Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association (AHNA) on Sunday called for a collective fight against corruption in city-based hospitals. The move comes a day after the Gujarat Anti-Corruption Bureau booked Dr Naresh Malhotra of the Aditya Hospital, a private establishment located at Bhuyangdev in Ahmedabad, for allegedly asking for a 10 per cent commission to get a bill worth Rs 1.5 crore cleared from Deputy Municipal Health Officer Dr Arvind Patel.
A statement released by the AHNA on Sunday said there were a handful of corrupt elements in the AMC and the government “who need to be weeded out”, but stated that “a stray incidence like this should not be generalised to implicate all the government functionaries”.
According to ACB, under a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation and CIMS Hospital in Ahmedabad, treatment of referred Covid-19 patients in CIMS is reimbursed by the state government. “The responsibility of clearing such bills for reimbursement is vested on the Deputy Municipal Health Officer. A complainant, who has been kept anonymous, appro-ached us recently stating that he had submitted a bill of Rs 1.5 crore, incurred towards the treatment of Covid-19 patients, to the health officer. The complainant said Dr Naresh Malhota had called the complainant and demanded 10 per cent cut to get the bill cleared from the Deputy Municipal He-alth Officer,” an ACB official said.
The complainant also submitted an audio recording where Dr Malhotra is purportedly heard demanding the commission, ABC officials said. The accused has been booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act and a case filed at Ahmedabad (rural) ACB police station. ACB officials are also probing the role of Dr Patel in the case.
In its statement, the AHNA’s said the association “strongly supports the efforts put in by CIMS to bring out the corruption in the government offices dealing with Covid-19 patients”.
It added, “The AHNA fully backs the CIMS Hospital and will standby with it as an association… It is time that we all collectively fight this menace and bring out those corrupt elements who bring a disgrace to others who work honestly in the government. AHNA would like to reiterate that there are only a handful of such elements in the AMC and government who need to be weeded out. By and large, the government officials have been supportive in the efforts put up by the healthcare facilities, both private- and government-run, in the fight against Covid-19. So, a stray incidence like this should not be generalised to implicate all the government functionaries.”
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