Super theft in SSH

CAG has sent in its status report on the Super Speciality Hospital of Jammu. The same has been put on the table in the Legislative Assembly and animated debate has ensued on the horrible findings of the visiting team. After going through this report what one would like to say in the first instance is that there has been super theft in super speciality hospital. Excelsior has a copy of the report. It is not only exciting to go through the paragraphs of the report, it is somewhat that makes us think that we are in a social system that works not for its welfare but for its debilitation and that is a sad story.  One wonders why the Vigilance department has not taken full cognizance of this huge theft running into crores of rupees.
The Audit has noticed that physical verification of stores had never been conducted since March 2013, when the SSH was handed over by the CPWD, despite the fact that Financial Rules provide for annual physical verification of store/stock for reconciliation of book balance of stock with physical balance. This is to begin with to be followed by multiple irregularities that have been very emphatically and elaborately listed by the Audit report.  It says that CSSD equipments, CCTV camera, Fire Fighting and Fire Alarm Systems installed in the SSH Jammu are non-functional and have remained out of order rendering expenditure of Rs 3.34 crores futile. 62 medical equipments valuing Rs 2.77 crore and non-medical furniture items valuing Rs 1.66 crore are not traceable in the hospital. Out of 315 medical equipments, valuing Rs 45.61 crores, supplied by M/s HLL Lifecare Limited and CPWD, 61 equipments valuing Rs 2.77 crore were not traceable, 66 equipments valuing Rs 4.58 crores had not been installed and out of 188 installed equipment, 38 valuing Rs 2.20 crores were non-functional and out of order, mostly due to non-execution of maintenance contracts. Equipments valuing Rs 1.171 crore have not been accounted for in the records and were not available in the hospitals.
Disappearance of equipment, non-entry into store records, and the non-availability of records to show the passing over of hospital equipments to the concerned hospitals, no physical verification conducted and many more irregularities have been listed by the Audit Report. Maintenance contracts were not entered into with the suppliers resulting in a number of medical equipments turning into non-functional.
The report paints a very grim and bleak picture of purchasing, storing, maintaining and distributing of hospital equipment.  It is a sad reflection on the functioning of Health Department under whose supervision the Medical colleges are supposed to function. The issue of physical verification, an exercise of immense responsibility, has never been touched upon in the report and that is very disappointing situation. It trickles down from the lines of the report that there is a nexus with ramifications that has been at work and crores of worth equipment has been siphoned off somehow and nobody has ever done the physical verification. Obviously, one can say that physical verification was not done with a design and this proves the existence of the nexus.
Space does not permit us to give full details of the observations of the Auditor General. But we can draw a couple of inferences. The first is that a deliberate attempt has been made of not making proper entries in the stock register along with vouchers and receipts in regard to a number of costly equipment. Then second is that physical certification is missing. Third is that equipment worth crores of rupees is rendered dysfunctional and no report has been submitted about why the newly brought equipment has become dysfunctional, why the supplier was not enjoined upon on contractual basis  to be responsible for maintenance for a certain period of time of which one year could be the minimum. Also disappearance of costly medical equipment is something for which the matter should be handed over to the vigilance department for full investigation and recovery of the items. After all it is a matter running in crores.
Finally, we would urge the Health Minister to hand over the matter to the Vigilance Department for full inquiry into the gross irregularities, disappearance of medical equipment, non-entry into the stock register and other fraudulent matters connected with the Super Speciality Hospital establishment.