Moga epidemiologist sacked for issuing fake negative report to Covid NRI patient
District administration probe found Dr Naresh Kumar Amla changed the NRI’s positive report to negative after taking a bribeUpdated: Nov 20, 2020, 11:51 IST
Three months after doctors at the Moga civil hospital were accused of running a racket in connivance with agents to conduct early Covid-19 tests, especially of non-resident Indians (NRIs) and providing fake negative reports even for positive patients for a bribe, the state government has terminated the services of the district epidemiologist.
The probe conducted by the district administration found Moga epidemiologist Dr Naresh Kumar Amla guilty of providing a fake Covid-19 negative report to an NRI who had tested positive. Dr Amla changed the NRI’s positive report to negative after taking bribe.
Kumar Rahul, the mission director of the National Health Mission (NHM), Punjab, said: “This has had a bad impact on the image of the health department and sent a wrong message to the public regarding its working. Dr Amla has violated rules by misusing his position. Dr Amla’s contract under NHM has been terminated after giving him a seven-day notice.”
Moga civil surgeon Dr Amarpreet Kaur said the epidemiologist was found guilty and the government had terminated his services but no criminal action had been initiated so far.
In August, Charanjit Singh, a resident of Dehadka village in Ludhiana district, complained to deputy commissioner Sandeep Hans, alleging that he had paid ₹3,500 for each test of nine of his NRI family members to get the reports early.
He said his parents are residents of Hong Kong were stranded in India for six months due to the pandemic. “Our flight to Hong Kong was scheduled on August 4. We had only 72 hours to get the test reports. When I reached the Moga civil hospital along with my parents and my sister-in-law’s family on August 2, the doctors informed me that they cannot conduct our tests that day due to the long waiting. In the meantime, Om Parkash of Moga came to me and said that if we pay ₹3,500 each, the tests will be done that day itself. We had no option but to pay ₹31,500 for the nine tests,” Charanjit Singh said.
Later, Om Parkash also submitted an affidavit to the deputy commissioner, stating that he had given ₹1.7 lakh to Dr Amla to get reports of 48 NRIs early. He said Dr Amla assured him that if any of them is tested positive, they will be given a fake negative test report.