Pune : Deccan Express – Pune PMC News | Doctors were gods for common people during the corona epidemic. Considering the conditions under which the doctors worked, it is not an exaggeration to make such a comparison. But as the good side of human nature came to the fore during this period, society also saw the bad side as well. It is still visible. A big scam has come to light in the case of ‘Rapid Antigen Kit’ received by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) from the government during the COVID pandemic in Pune. (Pune PMC News)
A shocking case has come to light at PMC’s Dr. Arvind Bartakke Hospital, Warje. 60 to 80 percent of the 18,500 test kits given at the swab center in this hospital were not used for the patients but were sold out. Also, it has been revealed that over 11,000 bogus patients have been registered instead of needy patients and the phone numbers of doctors and staff of the centre have been registered instead of the patients so as not to send SMS to them. This is a scam worth Rs 34 lakhs, the preliminary investigation of Warje Malwadi Police has revealed that doctors and staff of the centre were involved in this scam. The police have given a letter to the municipal corporation in this regard. However, according to the complainant, this amount could be as high as Rs 80 to Rs 90 lakh. (Pune PMC News)
The then Medical Officer of Bartakke Hospital Dr Satish Kolsure has exposed this corruption. He complained in this regard and 32 other places to the police. The entire incident took place between the months of January and December 2021. According to the registered complaint, Regional Medical Officer of Warje Karve Nagar Regional Office Dr Aruna Tarde, the then head of swab centre on contract basis Dr Hrishikesh Gardi as well as health head of the municipal corporation Dr. Ashish Bharti have been accused of being involved in this scam. The matter has been proved in the police investigation.
The matter has been investigated by the then sub-inspector Sonali Kathle of Warje police station. According to the investigation, 18,500 rapid tests were conducted in Bartakke Hospital between January and December 2021. Out of them, 165 persons were contacted and only 18 of them agreed to have checked at this center, 37 persons were not contacted and 9 persons did not pick up the phone making 64 persons. Assuming that these 64 people were tested, the police subtracted 64 from 165 and 101 i.e. 61 percent of the records were found to be bogus in the police investigation.
Using available information that 61 out of total 18,500 rapid tests are conducted at Bartakke Hospital, according to the percentage, it is possible that 11,324 bogus entries have been made.
Accordingly, the price of each kit is Rs 300 thus the total fraud is of Rs. 33.97 lakh, police report revealed. Along with this, the police have recorded the statements of 33 staff of the hospital.
Out of them, mobile numbers of 23 people have been used for bogus tests.
The police stated that the complaint made by Dr Kolsure is substantial and the PMC has been cheated. Also, this is a serious incident and a case should be registered against this after a thorough investigation, a report saying this has already been sent by Warje Police Station Senior Police Inspector DS Hake to Municipal Commissioner Vikram Kumar, Chief of Health Dr Ashish Bharti on September 27.
However, even after two months, no action has been taken by the health department.
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