Mohalla Clinics, a flagship healthcare project of Delhi’s government, came under scrutiny when the Union Home Ministry ordered the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to conduct an inquiry into the supply of substandard medicines in government hospitals in Delhi's Mohalla clinics.
It came to light last December when Lieutenant Governor V. K. Saxena instructed a CBI investigation into this issue of plausible fake lab tests and ghost patients in these Mohalla clinics.
The Ministry of Home Affairs has forwarded the letter along with the complaint copy of the Lieutenant Governor to the central agency, CBI. An official from the Lieutenant Governor's office says that, based on the data, it was uncovered that fake lab tests are conducted in these Mohalla clinics, which require additional investigation.
The Mohalla Clinics initiative was started on January 1, 2023, by Delhi’s government. This initiative has been offering 450 types of medical tests that are free to poor patients. The responsibility was approved for two private companies. Nonetheless, there were multiple complaints received from the patients and their families. Based on the complaints, the Drug Controller of Delhi’s Health Department collected samples from three main hospitals in Delhi. It was found that the medicines in the investigation were crucial antibiotics and steroids, which are used to treat inflammation, urinary tract infections, lung infections, and swelling. It also includes anti-anxiety, anti-hypertensive, and anti-epilepsy drugs. The samples were examined in both government-approved and private laboratories. The results disclosed that 10 percent of the tested samples were substandard, which include amlodipine, levetiracetam, and cephalexin.
The Vigilance Department investigation report also disclosed that in the mobile number section only the ‘0’ digit was entered in 11,657 cases, and in 8,251 cases the space was left empty, and for 3,092 patients the mobile number was entered as 9999999999. The lab tests were performed on dummy patients, and payments for the tests were driven to private diagnostic firms.
Lieutenant Governor V. K. Saxena said that the drugs in question failed quality standard tests, which can probably jeopardize the lives of patients in hospitals that are run by the Delhi government.
The Directorate of Vigilance of Delhi’s government had written to the Home Ministry requesting the investigation, and as per the letter, there is a requirement for an investigation of whether the actual drugs that are secured by the central procurement agency are also disseminated to the patients through these Mohalla clinics. The Central Home Ministry asked the CBI to perform the investigation.
As per the sources, the central agency will execute an initial investigation after obtaining the complaint, and if they find anything wrong, they are going to register an FIR.
(Input from various sources)