Many irregularities and malpractices throughout different states have surfaced in the execution of union government flagship Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojna (PM-JAY) scheme after the Comptroller and Auditor general of India (CAG) has recently published its audit report on it.
One of the biggest revelations in the report is pertaining to the registration of beneficiaries of the scheme as around 7.5 lakhs beneficiaries have been found to be registered with a single mobile number. Additionally, several beneficiaries were also found to be registered with a single Aadhar card.
The report also claimed that an excess payment of around 57.53 were made to the Empanelled Health Care Providers (EHCPs). Further a number of the EHCPc have neither fulfilled minimum criteria of support system and infrastructure nor conformed to the quality standards and criteria prescribed under the Scheme Guidelines.
The report further claimed that Anti-Fraud cells in four states/UTs, Claim Review Committees in eight states/UTs and Mortality and Morbidity Review Committees in 11 states/UT were not formed. The report also asserted that a total of 13 hospitals in Assam and Jharkhand had indulged in malpractices, however no action was initiated against these hospitals.
Additionally, a number of malpractices such as date of surgery of patients mentioned after their date of discharge, multiple admission of same patient on same date, treatment of dead persons and other irregularities such as invalid/duplicate health IDs, names, and unrealistic date of birth and family sizes have surfaced in the CAG report.
Now after the disclosure of wide scale irregularities in the scheme, While the central government has said that they are taking help from Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning to prevent, detect and deter healthcare fraud, a viral video of the health minister of Jharkhand has been doing the rounds on the internet for his casual approach to the grave issue.
In the viral video the health minister of Jharkhand, while replying to the queries of media persons pertaining to wide scale irregularities and alleged corruption the minister can be heard saying that we will look into the matter. further when one of the reporters again quizzed him with the same question that around 250 dead persons have been shown to be treated in the scheme, the minister replied that ” do you think that I am a weak minister, I will act aggressively.
झारखंड में मुर्दों भी का इलाज हो जाता है।आयुष्मान योजना के तहत झारखंड के विभिन्न अस्पतालों में 250 मुर्दों का इलाज किया गया सीएजी के रिपोर्ट के मुताबिक 250 मुर्दों का इलाज आयुष्मान स्कीम के तहत करके 30 लाख से ज्यादा रुपयों का भुगतान भी अस्पतालों को कर दिया गया।स्वास्थ्य मंत्री… pic.twitter.com/ukd0X8FjW9
— Sohan singh (@sohansingh05) August 12, 2023
Further, Health Minister Banna Gupta can be heard saying that “Am I light weighted, I’m around 80 to 82 kg so I will act accordingly.” When confronted with the query that earlier the Jharkhand health ministry had also transferred a doctor who had already died the minister replied that “are you a close aide of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders.”
After the video went viral on the internet, senior BJP leader Babulal Marandi while sharing a clip of the video tweeted “that when a reporter confronted Banna Gupta ji about the CAG report and irregularities found under his ministry the minister replied that are you a BJP man? This is the mentality of the corrupt minister of the corrupt government.”
पत्रकारों ने स्वास्थ्य मंत्री @BannaGupta76 जी से CAG की रिर्पोट पर पूछा कि आपके विभाग में ही गड़बड़ी क्यों पकड़ी जाती है।
उनका जवाब: आप BJP के आदमी हैं क्या?
भ्रष्ट सरकार के भ्रष्ट मंत्रियों की भ्रष्ट मानसिकता । pic.twitter.com/UHhBJRqN0f
— Babulal Marandi (@yourBabulal) August 12, 2023
It is to be noted that the CAG reports have highlighted a number of irregularities and malpractices from EHCPs of Jharkhand, this includes treatment of dead persons, treatment of same persons at separate hospitals on the same date, treatment of patients more than the bed capacity on a given date along with treatment without having essential equipments. Subsequently the state has been identified as one of the worst performing states of the country along with Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Kerala where wide scale irregularities have been reported in the scheme.