Updated February 3rd, 2024 at 17:26 IST
ACB Reveals 65,000 'Ghost Patients' Underwent Tests at Delhi's Mohalla Clinics in 2023
Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) of the Delhi government said 65,000 ‘ghost patients’ underwent pathological tests at Mohalla Clinics.
New Delhi: As per an initial investigation by the Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) of the Delhi government, 65,000 ‘ghost patients’ (non-existent patients) underwent pathological tests at Mohalla Clinics through private labs during the 11 months of 2023, officials reported on Saturday.
Between February and December 2023, two private labs conducted nearly 22 lakh tests, revealing that 65,000 of these tests were fraudulent, according to the officials. The government paid these labs Rs 4.63 crore for the tests they conducted.
In response to reports of irregularities in lab tests at Mohalla clinics, Delhi Lt Governor VK Saxena recommended a CBI probe last month. The Ministry of Home Affairs has subsequently directed the CBI to initiate an investigation into the matter.
An ACB official stated that the private labs conducted tests purportedly on ghost patients who never visited any Mohalla Clinic.
"It also emerged that the Lab Management Information System (LIMS), containing the name and mobile number of the patients, was also developed, operated and conveniently manipulated by the two private labs," he said.
The report has found that the two private vendors have “full control and access" over the data and system software and hence, the possibility of manipulation of data could not be ruled out, officials said.
The cost of conducting different tests at Mohalla clinics varied from Rs 100 to Rs 300.
The ACB, also through random tele-verification of mobile numbers of patients at both the private labs, found that a large number of tests were conducted on either invalid mobile numbers or mobile numbers not related to the patients, they said.
Analysis of one of the private laboratory's patient data showed listing of 12,457 tests with blank mobile numbers, 25,732 tests with 'zero' mobile numbers, 913 tests with fake mobile numbers like 1, 2, 3 etc; and 2467 tests with mobile numbers repeated more than 80 times for different patients, showed the report
(with PTI inputs)
Published February 3rd, 2024 at 17:26 IST