Department of Health & Family Welfare
BHUBANESWAR: There seems no end to land scam headache for the state government with suspicion arising on Monday that 13 individuals or organizations grabbed prime government plots measuring at least eight acre in the city.
The beneficiaries took land from the government on subsidy between 1982 and 2006 to establish healthcare facilities. However, they did not come up with the hospitals.
The government is still in the dark over how these properties worth an estimated Rs 80 crore were used.
Official sources said the illegalities came to light when the government tried to implement the Supreme Court order of mandatory free treatment for below poverty line (BPL) patients at the rate of 25% in outpatient departments and 10% in indoors.
On July 24, the government came up with the free treatment notification for 44 such hospitals in and around the city. The government asked the hospitals to submit monthly returns of number of patients treated outdoors and indoors and number of BPL patients in outdoors/ indoors, besides name, address, diagnosis, treatment procedure and cost incurred by the hospitals on BPL patients in consonance with the SC guidelines.
Only 21 of the 44 hospitals responded to the directorate of medical education and training (DMET), the nodal agency to implement the scheme, with their records. While verifying about the rest, DMET scanned data of number of registered hospitals/ nursing homes under it as all hospitals are registered under the Clinical Establishments (Registration and Regulation) Act, 2010.
"During scrutiny of our records of establishments covered under the Act, we found that whereabouts of 13 allottees were not known," said joint director, medical education and training, Uma Satapathy. The rest 10 are still coming up, he added.
The DMET on August 22 wrote to the health department for "appropriate action" at the earliest.
Fearing land grab by these allottees, the health department has asked the general administration department, which allotted the land, to verify physical status of the properties in question. The allotments will be investigated, a senior government officer said.