Bribery, Hooliganism Mar Odisha Health Sector

Boudh/Bolangir: Umpteen incidents of healthcare system failures including medical negligence, patient-on-cot tragedies, Mahaprayan mismanagement came to the fore in the recent past in Odisha. This time the health department has grabbed attention allegedly over hooliganism and practice of the percentage commission (PC) culture.

Jhumi Sahu, an Auxiliary nurse midwife of Baragocha hospital in Manamunda of Boudh district has levelled allegations of corruption and practice of PC culture by the medical officer at Manamunda Community Health Centre and accused him of demanding a bribe of Rs 20,000 to clear her bills and salary pending for the last four months.

The lady alleged, “I was pregnant and on leave since July 1. However, as I did not pay the bribe, I wasn’t given the salary and neither were my bills amounting to Rs 80,000 passed. Even when I joined, he is threatening me that if I don’t pay the money, I’ll be suspended. He is mentally harassing me.”

Jhumi has reportedly recorded her telephonic conversation with the medical officer Dr Mahendranath Sae which purportedly reveals that he has been demanding a 50-50 share to settle her case.

While the medical officer refuted the allegations, Boudh CDMO has said that necessary action would be taken after a probe. “Such claims are false. I’ve no idea on what basis she has leveled the allegations,” said the accused medical officer.

In another incident that has drawn widespread criticism, a cancer patient working at the Bhimabhoi medical college and hospital in Bolangir as a temporary cleaning staff was allegedly misbehaved with by the Superintendent of the hospital. A video purportedly showing the misbehaviour meted out to the cleaning staff, has gone viral on social media.

The complainant Sarati Nag was diagnosed with Cancer last year and was on leave during the treatment period. She reportedly joined duty on September 1. However, Superintendent Dr Narayan Acharya dismissed her after she did not come to the hospital due to flood situation in her village on 6th of this month. On September 12, she reached the Superintendent’s office along with a relative to save her job, but was misbehaved and manhandled by the officer, Nag alleged.

The Superintendent however denied to comment anything on the issue.