The Union Home Ministry on Friday ordered an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the matter of 'sub-standard' medicines in mohalla clinics, a flagship healthcare project by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Delhi.
The development came a day after Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena recommended an investigation by the CBI into alleged fake pathology and radiology tests at the clinics. It has been alleged that "lakhs of tests" were conducted on "ghost patients" at these clinics to aid private laboratories in the national capital. Sources in the L-G's office told India Today earlier that payments were made to private labs under the guise of fake tests, implying an alleged scam "running into hundreds of crores" at the expense of the poor citizens of Delhi.
The sources at the L-G office also claimed that non-medical/unauthorised staff prescribed tests and medicines to patients in the absence of doctors, who had been marking attendance via pre-recorded videos. The health department further stated that fake mobile numbers were used for patients' registration and laboratory tests were allegedly conducted on them. There was also duplication of mobile numbers, the sources alleged, adding that the accessed data showed fake lab tests were conducted at these mohalla clinics.
Delhi Health Minister Saurabh Bhardwaj and AAP leader also commented on the operations of the mohalla clinics and questioned the BJP-led Centre "saving" its appointed health secretary of the national capital. Taking to X (formerly Twitter) on Thursday, he shared multiple posts that showed he had ordered a flying squad to be formed for conducting surprise inspection of mohalla clinics in April last year but so far no action has been taken.
"I again asked the health secretary on 12.06.2023 that an explanation should be sought from all the officials who have not yet started the inspection of mohalla clinics. The health secretary did not take any action on this also. Will the BJP government still save the health secretary appointed by itself?" Bharadwaj wrote on X.
Meanwhile, reacting to the development, Delhi BJP leader Harish Khurana took a swipe at the AAP-led government in the national capital. "After a fake medicine scam, now another scam of fake lab tests at mohalla clinics has surfaced. AAP leaders are embroiled in corruption in all the departments of Delhi government. It is highly condemnable that AAP leaders are playing with the lives of poor residents of Delhi," he said.