Malpractice in contracts at Govt Wenlock Hospital

18 January 2007

Floors and surroundings are never spotlessly clean. And District Wenlock hospital is always running short of some drugs or the other.
These shortcomings are but fallouts of lacunae existing in the system was realised in a review meeting held at Wenlock Hospital recently.
The usual meeting, chaired by DK Deputy Commissioner, to plan development of hospital turned out to be an eye opener owing to the presence of Mangalore MLA N Yogish Bhat.
The meeting, which included District-in-charge Minister B Nagaraj Shetty and District Medical Officer Dr Prabhudev, began scrutinising tenders invited for cleaning and security contract.
Though all tender applications seemed perfect, yet Yogish Bhat suspected something amiss and sought a detailed enquiry.
During an in-depth enquiry it was discovered that solvency certificates of four among seven firms submitted turned out to be fake.
Classic, Sai and V-Help agencies had attached solvency certificates purportedly issued from banks. "The banks denied its existence," Yogish Bhat said.
The firms though registered in different names were hand-in-glove with one Prabhu, who was suspended pending charges during Lokayuktha raid in 2005, Bhat said.
A fourth firm, ‘Helpline’, which submitted a fake solvency certificate had bagged the previous contract worth Rs 33.44 lakh for Lady Goschen and Wenlock hospitals, which ended in December.
Intriguingly the firm collected only its first monthly installment of Rs 3.04 lakh. "As according to an agreement, Helpline had to submit proof of ESI, PF benefits and collect payment," sources informed and added that contractor had avoided paying ESI, PF benefits by fixing a salary between Rs 1,500 and Rs 2,000 to 100 and staff.
The committee has recommended Medical Education Directorate to blacklist the four firms. Bhat informed that there was a huge gap between demand and supply of medicines from Logistics Department. As against demand for supply of medicines worth Rs 1.80 crore to both government hospitals, the department has supplied medicines worth Rs 44 lakh.
"I have brought this to the notice of Health Minister Ashok," Bhat informed and added that strict adherence of guidelines in awarding contracts and procuring medicine will do a world of good to both Wenlock and Lady Goschen hospitals.
Solvency certificate Mangalore: ‘Solvency certificate’ estimates total worthiness of a person and is issued by a bank to a client.
A customer with an ordinary SB account cannot obtain solvency certificate. "It is not issued as a matter of routine," sources said. Institutions insist on a certificate to help them understand finance position of contractors to liquidate any dues.
(New Ind Press)


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