In more trouble for the Aam Aadmi Party and its convenor Arvind Kejriwal, a fresh “scam” has rocked the party that is already under the scanner of probe agencies.
Allegations have now been levelled against the AAP’s flagship healthcare project in Delhi – the Mohalla Clinics. The neighbourhood clinics set up to provide free primary healthcare to the people of Delhi have allegedly run hundreds of “fake” lab tests.
This comes days after reports of substandard medicines being supplied to Delhi’s state-run hospitals surfaced and the Enforcement Directorate sent its third summons to Arvind Kejriwal in the Delhi excise policy “scam”.
What Is The Mohalla Clinic “Scam”?
The Mohalla Clinics, central to the AAP’s welfare model, allegedly ordered and ran lakhs of “fake” pathology and radiology tests on non-existent patients, sources have claimed.
The alleged scam runs into hundreds of crores of rupees, sources said.
According to sources, the Mohalla Clinics – which provide primary health care services to the people of Delhi – reportedly ordered lakhs of fake pathology and radiology tests on “ghost” patients.
According to officials, “grave” fraudulent practices were prevalent in the lab tests being done in the name of patients visiting Delhi government hospitals and Mohalla Clinics with payments being made to private labs.
“Fake and non-existent mobile numbers were used to register the patients,” the office of the Delhi Lt Governor said.
Phone numbers were also duplicated, the sources said, adding that payments were made to private labs referred to by the Mohalla Clinics, the sources said.
“It is indicative of a scam running in hundreds of crores (of rupees). Saxena had issued these directions while clearing a file about the extension of lab testing services to private parties for patients visiting the Mohalla Clinics and Delhi government hospitals in December 2022,” an official said, reported news agency PTI.
The Delhi government’s Vigilance and Health Departments investigated the lab tests that were outsourced to private diagnostic centres.
Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena has asked the Central Bureau of Investigation, or the CBI, to probe the allegations of corruption against Mohalla Clinics run by the AAP in Delhi.
What The BJP Said
BJP Rajya Sabha MP Sudhanshu Trivedi slammed the AAP government in Delhi over the allegations. “The Delhi government had made arrangements for pathological tests at the so-called Mohalla Clinics. However, the clinics have come under a cloud of suspicion after the vigilance department reports and department findings came out,” he said.
What AAP Said
The AAP defended its welfare scheme and demanded the Delhi health secretary be sacked over several issues.
Addressing a press conference, Delhi Health Minister and AAP leader Saurabh Bharadwaj said his government had last year de-empanelled several doctors and staffers at Mohalla Clinics over wrongdoings.
“The Mohalla Clinic is an individual entity and not a massive set-up. We brought in a video application system to record the attendance of the staff. Now some disgraceful doctors took advantage of this. We fired 26 people – seven doctors and their staff who helped them,” Mr Bharadwaj said.