Naushahro Feroze: Inquiry finds focal person embezzled hepatitis funds
NAUSHAHRO FEROZE: The focal person of the Chief Minister Hepatitis Control Programme has been found to have played the key role in bungling Rs7.5 million earmarked for the purpose.
This was revealed in the inquiry report submitted to the programme manager by a four-member committee constituted after the surfacing of discrepancies PCR test report of patients.
The focal person of the programme Dr Asif Rajput had setup up an office and a laboratory sans a pathologist, in the Civil Hospital Naushahro Feroze.
Elisia test for hepatitis were conducted there and PCR tests of those patients who were suspected to be suffering from the disease were conducted from the City Lab Lahore. The payments of all these tests were made by the EDO Health.
Patients complained that the reports issued by the City Lab Lahore were different from the reports of same tests when conducted by Isra and Aga Khan laboratories.
Former naib nazim UC Naushahro Feroze Dr Abdul Qadeer Memon announced this after thoroughly verifying the authenticity of report of City Lab Lahore and private laboratories.
The inquiry team headed by Dr Zahoor Baloch obtained the record from focal person, EDO health and treasury office besides visiting the NBP and the UBL to check the record of PCR test payment made in the name of the City Lab Lahore.
Dr Baloch said that it was revealed that Rs10.398 million were embezzled and not only Rs7.5 million when he inspected the record of City Lab Lahore.
He told this correspondent that the City Lab Lahore had denied of any agreement with former EDO health or district government.
Mr Usman, Manager of the City Lab Lahore said that a man named Abdul Sattar Rajpar had approached them and was bringing blood sample for PCR tests. It also clarified that only Rs1.9 million had been paid to them in cash up to May 2010 for PCR tests.
Sources said that a member of a social welfare organisation Javed Shah had opened an account in the UBL Naushahro Feroze in the name of City Lab and cheques for PCR test reports issued by the Treasury Office were deposited there and cross cheques collected by the UBL from the NBP were credited in the City Lab account.
The then EDO who is now the DHO used to send PCR tests bill in the name of City Lab Lahore but cheques issued by treasury were in the name `City Lab’ with no mentioning of Lahore, added the sources.
The UBL Manager, Khan Mohammad Mastoi said Javed Shah opened the account no:3293 in the name of `City Lab’ while cheques amounting to Rs400,000 to Rs700,000 and Rs800,000 were issued by the treasury and deposited up to June 2011 while the amount was collected from the NBP Naushahro Feroze. The inquiry committee had fixed the responsibility on to the focal person, former EDO, treasury officer, Javed Shah and one Abdul Sattar, besides others.
Deputy Commissioner Naushahro Feroze Nazar Mohammad Bozdar confirmed of receiving a copy of inquiry report but couldn’t go through it due to his busy schedule. He said that though he was posted in Naushahro Feroze since February 2011 but had not attended any meeting of the `committee for purchasing medicines’. He was informed that the tenders were called earlier by former DCO, EDO health and medicines were purchased by the health department.
He said that he was waiting for directives from higher authorities to take action against the people responsible for the embezzlement.
No allocations for the PCR tests had been made for 2011-12 as plans are afoot to purchase the machine for the district which would also become a source of income for conducting these tests of other districts he said adding that soon he would ask the Sindh government for money to purchase the machine. Phone of treasury officer did not respond despite several attempts