The Tamil Nadu Health Department discovered irregularities in the food and accommodation provided to government medical professionals. According to Health Minister Ma Subramanian, the efforts to address the irregularities will save the state government approximately Rs 9-10 crore.
For the last one and a half years, the Tamil Nadu government has provided food and accommodation to doctors who treat Covid-19 patients at all government hospitals as they have to follow a one-week treatment and one-week isolation shift.
Following a number of complaints from doctors and other medical professionals about the quality of food provided to them, the health department launched an investigation led by Dr Senthil Kumar to investigate the allegations across all districts.
During their investigation, health department officials discovered that local contractors were charging exorbitant fees for food purchased from local caterers in the districts and then distributed to medical professionals and that the food was not of the quality promised by the contractors.
Explaining the irregularities, state Health Minister Ma Subramanian said that the contractors were charging anywhere between Rs 550- Rs 600 per day, per individual, for providing food, and Rs 900 per day for the stay at the private accommodations.
As a result of this revelation, the health department has set food prices based on districts. Food vendors are no longer permitted to charge more than Rs 350, Rs 375, and Rs 450 fixed by districts, as well as Rs 750 in the same accommodations that previously charged Rs 900 per night.
After a 20-day investigation, the department discovered the irregularities.
“We were able to locate good hotels willing to serve food at prices ranging from Rs 350 to Rs 375 and Rs 450. The cost reduction saves Rs 30 lakh per day. Moreover, the food quality has improved. The accommodation per person was Rs 900 and has now been reduced to Rs 750,” said Health Minister Subramanian.
The minister also said that once the situation is under control, and stern actions will be taken against those who were involved in these irregularities.
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