In Jharkhand, even though the Urban Centres do not lack the basic infrastructure, the so-called modern-day indispensable yardsticks of economic and human-development indexes, viz., roads, electricity, water, hospitals, schools, et al; their poor quality leaves much to be desired.
So now let us take a U-turn from Rural Roads connectivity to (supposedly and allegedly) the number one Government Hospital of the Jharkhand state, known as RIMS Hospital, it is located in the capital city of Jharkhand, Ranchi. Let us see what kind of unpalatable details about the RIMS Hospital was unearthed by the CAG report.
- The Report said: RIMS was set up in 2002 by upgrading Rajendra Medical College and Hospital (RMCH) to a centre of excellence in medical research and education. It was further upgraded as a super-specialty hospital with an outlay of Rs 120 crore in 2004 under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY). Major targets like setting up a dental college and super-specialty departments and upgrading existing departments were not achieved, besides commenting that the service delivery to patients was also not satisfactory. RIMS had failed to achieve any of the objectives for which it was set up.
Our Remarks: RIMS was built to act as AIIMS of the Eastern India. However, this premier government hospital failed to live up to its expectations and the stated objectives. And the constant political interference by the state government mandarins and the general apathetic and compliant attitude of Hospital Management is not at all helping. The Ruling Political Class and well-off Bureaucratic Class are least bothered about the degeneration of medical services in RIMS as they always get themselves into the premier Private Hospitals with star facilities, located both in the state and / or outside the state. Only the economically poor patients of Jharkhand bear the brunt of sub-standard quality of medical services at RIMS, as they can’t afford the exorbitant medical rates of the Private Hospitals.
- The Report said: The creation of a dental college was envisaged in the RIMS Act, however it was not established even after incurring an expenditure of Rs 6.80 crore.
Our Remarks: Where did the money go, Rs. 6.80 crore? Last seen, RIMS was building a Mega-Shopping Mall in its premises, what a waste?
- The Report said: Despite the fact that Rs 30.97 crore had been spent on building and equipment, upgrade of existing departments remained a distant dream while the OPD was still not fully equipped to handle the rush of patients. The public funds monitor also found serious irregularities in utilization, installation and functioning of equipment worth Rs 9.54 crore bought between 2005 and 2010. For example, One cardiac defibrillator, Three sets of ventilators, Two OT tables and Two OT lights bought for the oncology department for Rs 35.64 lakh between 2006 and 2009 had been lying idle till June 2010 as the operation theatre was not functional. The cath lab installed at a cost of Rs 3.30 crore in October 2008 remained idle till March 2010 in the absence of specialist cardiac surgeons. The drug testing mechanism was inadequate. During 2006-07, 20,000 vials of Ceftriaxone injection, valued at Rs 5.22 lakh and declared sub-standard by the drug inspector, were administered to the patients.
Our Remarks: Why are they playing with the lives of the hapless patients? Why so much mismanagement?
- The Report said: RIMS received grants from the Jharkhand State Disease Assistance Fund for specialized treatment of BPL (below poverty line) patients suffering from critical diseases. It was found that grants of Rs 50.95 lakh for 105 patients were received by RIMS during 2003-09. However, only Rs 16.95 lakh was utilized and the rest was refunded.
Our Remarks: Where did the BPL patients go, were they treated or not?
- The Report said: The shortage of doctors/teaching faculty varied between 44 to 89 per cent among different cadres.
Our Remarks: Is this shortage because of the unwillingness on the part of Doctors / Faculty to join RIMS or it points out the finger at the all pervasive corruption afflicting their recruitment too? We do not really know.
- The Report said: It is said that 1 unit of blood can save 3 lives, but at RIMS, 699 precious units were allowed to go waste between 2006 and 2009.
Our Remarks: It reminds us of the Government’s slogan-‘Blood Saves Lives’. RIMS’ Hospital Management and Staff Members indulge in the criminal negligence of the highest order.
- The Report said: The 4 ambulances in RIMS were primarily used as their transportation vehicles by the doctors and other staff of the hospitals. In the 5 years period Of the 1,663 trips made by the ambulances between 2005 and 2010, 509 were for official purposes, 841 times for carrying doctors, and only 313 times for ferrying patients.
Our Remarks: RIMS’ Hospital Management and Staff Members indulge in the misuse of their power and the authority; while patients wait, and wait.
The life and corruption simply goes on in Jharkhand.
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