Patna: Doctors, hospitals go ‘scot-free’ in uterus removal scam
Patna: While the Bihar Human Rights Commission has announced a compensation of Rs 18 crore for the victims in uterus removal scam, the doctors involved have gone unpunished so far.
Though FIRs were lodged against 13 doctors and the DMs concerned wrote to Medical Council of India (MCI) to cancel the registration of 33 doctors and 17 hospitals, the MCI has not taken any action whatsoever against any one of them.
The scam pertains to unwanted removal of uterus to pocket health insurance money under Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana.
As per a report compiled from all 38 districts by the state government and submitted to BHRC in April, the highest number of unwanted surgeries (316) were done in Samastipur. The district also accounted for the highest number of bogus surgeries (14). The DM concerned wrote to the MCI on February 25, 2013 to cancel the registration of 22 "guilty" doctors of the district. FIRs were registered against five hospitals Krishna Hospital, Mala Nursing Home, Mishra Nursing Home, Lifeline Hospital and Pragya Nursing Home. Krishna Hospital's Dr Mahesh Kumar Thakur and Lifeline Hospital's Dr Vishnu Dev Prasad are absconding, while the proprietors of three hospitals surrendered before court and are on bail. However, the MCI is yet to take any action.
FIRs were registered in March 2013 against three Saran hospitals, namely Jeevandeep Hospital, Tripathi Nursing Home and Dev Tara Nursing Home, as the charge of "irregularities in removal of uterus in a fraudulent manner and making fraudulent claims under Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana were found to be true". The MCI was simultaneously asked by the DM concerned to cancel their registration. But no action has been taken.
Many DMs lodged FIRs against hospitals only last month. In Gopalganj, 319 unwanted uterus removal surgeries were performed and FIRs were registered against eight hospitals in April this year. In Gaya, irregularities were found in 119 cases by the DM, and the civil surgeon has ordered further inquiry as the 'beneficiaries' of uterus removal were not found at the addresses mentioned in records.
Two uteruses were unnecessarily removed in Jamui, where 83 bogus surgeries were done, says the government report. The MCI has been asked to take action against Jamui's Dr Rajesh Kumar and Dr Sanjay Mandal, while investigation against a few hospitals is still on.
In Madhubani, the DM found at least three cases of unwanted surgeries, as per the documents given by patients. The DM registered FIR against the insurance company.
In East Champaran, on the DM's instruction, an FIR was lodged last month against seven hospitals S M Nursing Home, Bhawani Nursing Home, Vatsaya Nursing Home, Samima Health Centre, Sushurt Sewa Kendra, Ma Nursing Home and Aastha Nursing Home.
Sheikhpura DM found 46 uteruses were removed unnecessarily. An FIR was lodged against seven doctors and Bihar Medical Council secretary was informed for necessary action in this regard. Similarly, five hospitals in Nalanda have an FIR lodged against them for performing 11 unwanted surgeries.
TOI unsuccessfully tried to contact MCI's ethics committee chairman Dr D Borah on his cellphone. A detailed questionnaire was sent on his e-mail ID on Wednesday, but it has not been replied to. Bihar's representative on the ethics committee Dr Rajiva Ranjan said he was not aware of any recommendation for punitive action. "We would discuss the matter in the next meeting" was all that he said.