New Delhi, Oct 27 (PTI) Delhi Health Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj on Friday alleged that a few officials have conspired to stop the AAP government's 'Dilli Ke Farishtey' scheme, under which accident victims are provided free treatment, with payments not being made to private hospitals for nearly a year.
He said that he has written to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to take action against the officials concerned.
The 'Farishtey Dilli Ke' scheme encourages people to rescue accident victims.
"Payments are made to private hospitals at government rates. But for the last year or so, payments have not been released to private hospitals. There is a conspiracy by certain officials to stop the scheme," Bharadwaj said at a press conference.
"Health secretary and former DGHS chief did this deliberately to defame Kejriwal. Strict action must be taken against them," he said.
The scheme, which was launched on January 15, 2018, has saved the lives of over 23,000 people so far, he added.
In January this year, the health department brought to the notice of the then deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia that the Delhi government owes approximately Rs 24.5 crore to private hospitals, Bharadwaj said.
Sisodia then wrote a letter to the Director-General of Health Services (DGHS) on January 24, asking by when these outstanding dues would be cleared. Surprisingly, he did not receive any response, the minister claimed.
Bharadwaj said after he was allotted the health portfolio, he convened a meeting on April 21 regarding this issue. The health secretary and DGHS Nutan Mundeja attended the meeting, he said.
The minister said he was told that no dues were pending and all these details were recorded in the minutes of the meeting.
However, a few days after the meeting, representatives of some private hospitals came to him and told him that the Delhi government owed crores of rupees to these facilities, he alleged.
Based on this, Bharadwaj said, he asked the health secretary to issue a show cause notice to the DGHS and inquire about the reason behind furnishing incorrect information. However, he claimed, he did not receive any response from the health secretary's office regarding the reasons for the discrepancies.
"As part of a deliberate conspiracy, payments worth crores of rupees have intentionally not been made to many private hospitals for nearly the last one year. This is being done because if these bills are not paid, then private hospitals will not provide free treatment.
"If they don't provide treatment, it will cause distress to Delhiites, and if Delhiites are distressed, it will tarnish the reputation of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his government. In my opinion, there is no greater sin on this planet than preventing such a virtuous scheme from working," Bharadwaj said. PTI SLB DIV DIV