‘Irregularity in rural health fund spending in Uttar Pradesh’

August 9th, 2011 - 10:06 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 9 (IANS) A central team that reviewed fund management under the National Rural Health Mission in Uttar Pradesh found “irregularity” in award of contracts for procuring emergency medical transport services and poor quality of drugs, the Rajya Sabha was informed Tuesday.

In a written reply, Minister of State Sudip Bandyopadhyay said Uttar Pradesh has “primary responsibility” for implementing NRHM that aims to provide quality healthcare to people living in remote areas.

The central health team, which carried out the investigations in May, found “irregularity in award of contract for procurement of emergency medical transport services and mobile medical units, management of hospital cleaning and gardening, procurement of safe drinking water”.

The minister said the team also found “poor quality” of drugs and consumables.

“In respect of civil construction works, there was mere transfer of funds to various state government agencies without any formal agreement and without any system,” the minister said.

He also said that the civil construction was monitored “poorly” and pointed fingers at the quality of the construction.

He said that no action was taken even after defects were pointed out in the civil constructions.

“Non operationalisation of emergency transport services even after procurement of 779 ambulances,” Bandyopadhyay said.

“The primary responsibility for implementation of the mission is that of the state government health is a state subject ..,” he said.

“UP government had also approached the CAG for conduct of special audit in the implementation of NRHM..,” the minister added.

Bandyopadhyay said they have also asked CAG to conduct a special audit on NRHM implementation in the state from the beginning, which the agency has agreed.

The state has seen three medical officers dying under mysterious circumstances.

Vinod Kumar Arya, the chief medical officer (CMO) in Lucknow, was shot dead in October 2010 when he was taking a morning walk.

In April 2011, B.P. Singh, another CMO, was shot dead near his residence in Lucknow. In yet another case, Yogendra Singh Sachan, a deputy CMO who was arrested for his alleged involvement in the embezzlement of NRHM funds, was found dead in the Lucknow district jail on June 22.

According to the state police, Sachan was party to the conspiracy in the murders of Vinod Kumar Arya and B.P. Singh.

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