February 13, 2020 2:16:21 am
WITH DUES worth Rs 60 crore remaining pending for several months, around 35 local drug and injectable suppliers in Mumbai on Wednesday threatened to stop supply to four hospitals under the state-run JJ Group of hospitals. Alleging “a great fraud” played by the hospitals, the suppliers wrote to Mumbai Police Commissioner Sanjay Barve, seeking a probe.
Dipesh Shah, owner of Sheetal Pharma and Life Care, said he supplies life saving drugs and surgical products to St George’s, Gokuldas Tejpal and Cama and Albless hospitals. Payment worth Rs 2.5 crore is pending for the last five years, he alleged. “I don’t have funds left to supply to any more hospitals. I have taken loans but won’t be able to supply for long,” he said.
Shranik Gujjar from Mamta Trading said he supplies injectables to all the four hospitals. “Since two-and-a-half years, payment of Rs 2 crore is pending. The hospitals give us purchase orders and we provide supplies. The state government has refused to pay and are asking us for bills. They should ask for paperwork from the hospitals,” Gujjar said, adding that he has stopped supply to the hospitals from Wednesday.
The suppliers claimed of the around Rs 60 crore pending, some payments are due since 2013.
The JJ hospital has had four deans in the last two years. Current dean Dr Pallavi Saple said that since she took over five months ago, all local purchases have been made following sanction from the government. “We have cleared bills from the last five months. I am trying to expedite the process of clearing dues from the last two years,” she added.
A government official said that any state-run hospital has to get the sanction of the director of Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER) and in some cases, from the secretary (medical education) to process local purchase orders. “Each hospital is allowed to locally procure 10 per cent of its total medicinal requirements. Beyond that, approval from the director is needed,” the official added.
Sanjay Mukherjee, Secretary (medical education), said, “I have asked the suppliers to produce yearly bills. The bills will be scrutinised and response from DMER director will be sought on each. The suppliers are yet to provide the bills.”
After a meeting with Mukherjee failed to resolve the matter, the suppliers on Wednesday submitted a letter to Barve seeking an investigation.
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