'For personal gain, PGIMS docs push patients into monetary pain' | punjab | Hindustan Times
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'For personal gain, PGIMS docs push patients into monetary pain'

punjab Updated: Nov 21, 2013 11:06 IST
Sat Singh
Sat Singh
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Getting treated at the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (PGIMS), the state's largest and government-run premier institute that falls under the ambit of the University of Health Sciences, is proving to be a huge drain on people's pocket. Courtesy, doctors.


A few OPD doctors reportedly force patients to get medical tests done at private agencies rather than guiding them to avail of free services available at the hospital. Reason: Doctors are allegedly being served commission amount on head-count basis.

Recently, at a press conference, university vice-chancellor Dr SS Sangwan had told mediapersons that he was aware of such complaints and the matter was being investigated. Throwing a document in the air, he had said that he had the list of over half a dozen private laboratories that conducted such tests on patients recommended by the PGIMS. He refused to share the document with mediapersons.

More than 200 doctors at Ch. Ranbir Singh OPD attend to over 5,000-6,000 patients every day. The PGIMS offers over 200 free tests to patients on its premises and performs key tests such as MRI and CT scan - for which dates are fixed two to three months in advance - at rates at least five to eight times lower than the private laboratories.

Sources said what the vice-chancellor had hinted at was just the tip of an iceberg. Actually the rot inside the system was far deep, they alleged.

In some of the major surgeries performed in the Rohtak medical college, surgeons reportedly accept expensive medicines, injections and equipment of a particular brand bought from a particular shop only and in case of the mismatch, surgeries are delayed on flimsy grounds.

Accepting the commission trend in the tertiary care state hospital, PGIMS chief vigilance officer Dr RS Dahiya said: "We have received inputs about doctors recommending patients to private laboratories, but owing to no written complaint from anyone so far, we have not been able to take action against any laboratory or doctor in question."

In one of such recent incidents, Satish Kumar, a daily wager, had written a letter to the chief minister, the state health minister and Rohtak deputy commissioner to take action against the existing commission system. He said that he had brought his brother Joginder Kumar to the PGIMS on October 1 after the latter complained of uneasiness. After initial checkup, Joginder was admitted to ward-3, where doctors on duty asked Satish to take his brother to a private super-specialty hospital situated on Medical Mor if he wanted to save his life, Satish alleged. Two agents, who were already deputed outside the PGIMS, facilitated them to the private hospital recommended by the doctors, Satish said.

He alleged that even after spending `2 lakh, his brother died after five days on October 6. He said a racket was being run by private players at the behest of the university authorities.

The tactics

1) Patients are forced to get tests done from private laboratories, instead of being guided to avail of free services available at the PGIMS.
2) If patients stress on getting MRI, CT scan done from the PGIMS, they are given delayed test dates.
3) A few surgeons accept equipment, medicines and injections of a particular brand bought from a particular shop.
4) A daily wager, whose brother died last month, accused authorities of having nexus with private players to earn commission.