32 teachers claim Rs 63 lakh for fake illness in Kendrapara

Kendrapara: At least 32 primary school teachers have taken away an estimated Rs 63 lakh from government exchequer under the Reimbursement Cost of Medicine (RCM) Scheme in Kendrapara district by submitting forged medical records.
 
As per the government provision, employees with critical illness are extended financial assistance under RCM.
 
The teachers, working under the schools and mass education department, have been found guilty of perpetrating acts of omission and commission to reap benefits of the scheme by producing forged documents in support of their sickness, officials said.
 
An inquiry has found prima facie evidence of availing of RCM benefits by way of dishonest practice and doctors of government-run hospitals and drugs and chemist shop owners had also played a role in it, officials said.
 
Acting on allegations, the matter was inquired into. The inquiry revealed corroborative evidence of false and fake claim by 32 primary school teachers, Kendrapara Sub Collector Pratap Chandra Mishra said.
 
A doctor officiating in sub divisional hospital at Pattamundai certified about their sickness and prescribed medicines for the purpose, he said.
 
All the beneficiaries furnished prescriptions from the said doctor and purchased bills from a chemist shop in Pattamundai.
 
The medicine bills showed purchase of drugs for Tuberculosis.
 
But TB drugs are not sold in chemist shops and is available free of cost in government hospitals and dispensaries. .
 
On August 8, 2012, a primary school headmaster fell sick along with four family members and claimed Rs 5.28 lakh after submitting forged prescriptions and medicine bills, according to the inquiry report.
 
The Block Development Officer (BDO) had approved the RCM claims without verifying the genuineness and authenticity of the claims.
 
We have taken possession of documents in connection with RCM claims. The BDO, who had approved the claims, is asked to submit a compliance report with regard to the alleged lapses. The Chief District Medical Officer (CDMO) is also conducting a separate inquiry into the role of doctors in the scam. The drugs control unit had conducted a separate probe and did not find sale of medicines as per the claims made by the teachers, Mishra said.
 
The findings in the probe are being forwarded to the higher authorities for initiation of disciplinary and penal proceedings against those found guilty, he said.