Guard, chemist kickback nexus to the fore at PGI

  • Vishav Bharti, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Feb 04, 2015 15:18 IST

In a pointer to alleged kickbacks being paid to security guards by chemists at the region’s prestigious hospital, the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), all security guards at the emergency block of the institute were shifted to other areas, a few days ago.

The administration took the decision after it received a complaint alleging that a security guard, with Keshav Securities emblazoned on his shirt, literally snatched the prescription from a patient’s attendant and guided him to a shop, Trilok Chemists, in the emergency block.

What left the patient’s attendant aghast was that the shop staff proceeded to pay `2,000 to the guard for his services in bringing the patient’s attendant to the shop. The security guard did not seem to realise the irony of arguing with the staff, claiming that he had already given the shop five customers.

All this was put in the form of a written complaint with the administration of the institute recently. The complaint was forwarded to the security department of the institute.

The security department of the institute was unable to verify whether the incident did take place. It was also unable to identify the security guard.

However, in a tacit admission that there could be some merit to the complaint, the decision to shift all the guards from the emergency block was taken.

When contacted, owner of Trilok Chemists, Mahesh Kumar, said, “We don’t indulge in any such practice and have been working in the institute for five years. I don’t have any such complaint in my knowledge.”

The PGIMER has two kind of securities. One are the institute’s own employees and the other include a large number of security guards outsourced from a private company called ‘Keshav Securities’. Of 600 guards at the institute, 500 are employed and managed by Keshav Securities. The institute employs 100 guards.

Previously, chemists had complained

This is not for the first time that an instance of alleged collusion between security guards, chemists and surgical instrument sellers has come to the fore at the PGI. Some time ago, a group of chemists with shops at the New Shopping Complex of the institute had alleged that the security guards posted at the Advanced Cardiac Centre allowed only salespersons belonging to specific chemists to and surgical item sellers to enter the premises. PGIMER chief security officer PC Sharma could not be contacted.

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