In a clear case of red-tapism, the district officials took 17 months to release an amount of around Rs 39 lakh to the civil hospital authorities out of Rs 60 lakh sanctioned by Rajya Sabha MP Naresh Gujral on November 14, 2014 for the revamping of intensive care unit (ICU), which has been in shambles and has been needing immediate attention for the past several years.
The administration on Wednesday also handed over two cheques worth Rs 22.50 lakh out of Rs 30 lakh sanctioned by Jalandhar Lok Sabha MP Santokh Singh Chaudhary in September 2015 to the civil hospital.
Meanwhile, the four cheques to purchase 24 multi-parameter monitors worth Rs 13.98 lakh, one ultrasound eco-machine worth Rs9.70 lakh and paediatric ventilator costing Rs 15 lakh, exclusively for the ICU, were handed over to the civil hospital on Wednesday morning by the administration.
Further, the two separate cheques worth Rs 22.50 lakh has been given for the purchase of two ventilators for the ICU.
Both the MPs had approved the amount under the MPLAD funds to the civil hospital, but due to the lackadaisical attitude of the district administration officials, the money wasn’t released to the hospital.
It is pertinent to mention here that MP Gujral had given Rs 60 lakh to the civil hospital but due to new guidelines in July 2015, the MP could not sanction any amount below Rs 5 lakh to hospital for the purchase any equipment due to which an amount Rs 10 lakh would be sent back to MP, as the cost of few equipments, including bedside x-ray (Rs 3.46) and ABG machine (Rs 3.50 lakh), were less than the prescribed amount.
Meanwhile, after getting the cheques, the doctors and staff of the hospital were hoping that poor patients now would be able to avail the ultra modern health facilities from the ICU of the government hospital on the affordable rates.
A senior doctor said none of the officials was serious about the poor patients and that delayed the release of the amount to the civil hospital.
He said the nexus between the officials of the government hospital and private health institutions was the reason behind the delay in revamping of the ICU, as the patients could be taken to the private hospitals, rather than being admitted to the civil hospital’s ICU.
HT had repeatedly exposed the administration and civil hospital’s officials for their attitude in the releasing the amount.