Clampdown On Dalalraj: Odisha Turns Heat On Middlemen In Hospitals; 31 arrested

Bhubaneswar: As part of a State-wide campaign ahead of the roll out of ambitious ‘Mo Sarkar’ initiative on October 2, Odisha Police turned heat on touts and middlemen (dalals) exploiting poor & vulnerable patients in several hospitals across the State. As per official sources, as many as 31 middlemen have been arrested in a major crackdown by the cops in nine districts in the past two days.

At least, five middlemen were arrested today on the charges cheating patients and obstructing treatment in VSS Medical College, Burla. Similarly, five touts were arrested from Bhima Bhoi Medical College and Hospital in Bolangir. Earlier on Wednesday, four middlemen including three medical representatives were arrested from Capital Hospital in Bhubaneswar.

“CM Naveen Patnaik had earlier expressed concerns over rampant exploitation of poor patients in hospitals. In this regard, we conducted a surprise raid today,” said Arindam Dakua, Bolangir Collector.

“As per the directions from headquarters, today we had conducted a special drive and arrested five middlemen who were influencing patients and seeking bribe from them,” said Sambalpur SP, Kanwar Vishal Singh.

The state-wide crackdown was launched a day after Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik directed officials to take tough action against middlemen operating in hospitals of the State.

While talking to Chief District Medical Officers (CDMOs) on Mo Sarkar initiative through video conferencing, Patnaik directed the police superintendents to make hospitals free of middlemen.

Odisha DGP BK Sharma today directed all SPs and DCPs to launch special drives against such middlemen operating in different hospitals, medical colleges, blood banks and dispensaries. Clear directions have been issued to arrest such middlemen who cheat patients.

“We have directed officials to investigate such cases so as to establish and ascertain linkages of middlemen with owners of nursing homes and diagnostic centres and health officials so that appropriate action can be taken,” said Sharma.

Sharma further informed that such enforcement drives will be carried out on a daily basis.