CMO seeks to play down SDM’s ‘exposure’ of Firozabad health centre - Hindustan Times
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CMO seeks to play down SDM’s ‘exposure’ of Firozabad health centre

Mar 13, 2024 10:34 PM IST

“I conducted an inspection at 12.05 pm on Wednesday. Work was on for cleanliness and painting. No major shortcomings, as pointed by SDM were found at the health centre. Yet we are probing the issues raised and anyone found guilty will be punished,” said CMO Dr Rambadan Ram who outrightly denied the charges that expired medicines were given to patients.

Agra Health officials in Firozabad are on the backfoot after a woman SDM visited a government health centre in veil on Tuesday and exposed that half of the medicines there had expired and health services were not up to the mark.

SDM Kirti Raj visits Dida Mai Health Centre in Firozabad in a veil on Tuesday, to conduct a surprise inspection. (HT)
SDM Kirti Raj visits Dida Mai Health Centre in Firozabad in a veil on Tuesday, to conduct a surprise inspection. (HT)

Pushed to the wall, the health department officials reacted to the incident on Wednesday. Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Firozabad, Dr Rambadan Ram visited the health centre and found everything in order but said that a three-member committee, headed by the additional CMO, had been set up to probe the matter. Action would be taken on the basis of the report, he said.

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To recall, Firozabad SDM (Sadar) Krati Raj, an IAS officer of the 2021 batch, visited the health centre in a veil on Tuesday and exposed the apathy of doctors and other staff working there. She said she had received a complaint about inconveniences faced by patients, mainly those looking to get vaccinated against rabies, at Dida Mai health centre in Firozabad.

“I conducted an inspection at 12.05 pm on Wednesday. Work was on for cleanliness and painting. No major shortcomings, as pointed by SDM were found at the health centre. Yet we are probing the issues raised and anyone found guilty will be punished,” said CMO Dr Rambadan Ram who outrightly denied the charges that expired medicines were given to patients.

“There were no expired medicines being distributed to patients. The medicines with expiry dates in March and April 2024 were kept separately and were not being used. They were to be discarded and were mentioned in the discharge register. It appears that the SDM found a ‘wrong’ box of medicines with expiry date,” he said.

Seemingly by embarrassed by the incident, the CMO admitted that such allegations downed the ‘morale’ of officials and staff ‘working hard’ to comply with guidelines issued by the state government to keep health services good.

“We have at least 279 types of medicine and vaccines available for different problems, including hypertension, diabetes, snake and dog bite as ordered by the state health department. Many patients turn up at Dida Mai health centre and all are attended one by one all through the day,” claimed the CMO, adding that he was not aware as to what lapses SDM Krati Raj found.

“The health centre incharge , Dr Durg Pratap Singh, is the only psychiatrist in the district and had to attend camps organised all over Firozabad. There are three doctors on duty and one had gone after signing the register. Explanation has been sought about his absence,” the CMO said .

The matter took a political turn after Samajwadi Party president and former U.P CM Akhilesh Yadav took to X to target the state government on charges of expired medicines being used at a government health centrw in Firozabad.

“Expiry date of BJP government treating patients with expired medicines is fast approaching,” posted the SP leader .

To note, SDM Sadar Krati Raj said about her visit to the health centre that had received a complaint and so chose to visit the health facility in a veil to find out facts. “When the doctor came, he was rude to the patients. Later, I inspected the medicine stock and found that half of it had expired. Cleanliness was not up to the mark and staff administering injections was not working properly. Many employees marked present were absent,” the IAS officer said, adding, “I will submit a report to higher authorities.”

Disguised as a patient, she even got a slip for herself at the health centre and interacted with women patients there with her veil on. Her identity was revealed only when she disclosed it before she began inspecting the medicine stock.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Hemendra Chaturvedi is based in Agra serving as a Principal Correspondent, covering districts of Agra and Aligarh division of western Uttar Pradesh. He has been with HT since 1992 and has completed 25 year of association with HT.

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