PANJIM: Health Minister Vishwajit Rane on Tuesday strongly refuted allegations of a scam in the purchase of ventilators after a video of a doctor from Canacona alleging the same went viral on social media.
Rane claimed that the ventilators purchased by the government are of the best quality and vetted by competent authorities. Last year after the coronavirus nationwide lockdown was imposed there was no availability of ventilators.
The government imported 200 ventilators from USA and they were of best quality available at that point of time, Rane said, adding all 200 ventilators are in use, they are user-friendly and all doctors are happy with the performance.
“That person (doctor) was thrown out from Hospicio Hospital, Margao by a Supreme Court order
because he became like a permanent tenant of the government. As a result he is making allegations because we are not entertaining him anymore,” Rane said.
Herald in August last year had reported on the discrepancy in the cost of ventilators purchased by the Goa government.
Dr R Venkatesh of Canacona had alleged that ventilators worth Rs two lakh have been purchased by paying four times the actual cost. He said the CAG report is exposing corruption in the Health Department where more than Rs 200 crore was misused. He stated that from PM Cares Fund, Rs 55 crore was allotted to the Goa government to purchase ventilators. Goa government purchased 200 ventilators out of Rs 55 crore.
“When Prime Minister purchased at Rs 2 lakh per ventilator at Delhi our Health Minister Vishwajit Rane purchased Rs 8.50 lakh per ventilator for 200 ventilators. The actual cost of each ventilator is only Rs 2 lakh but he purchased for Rs 8.50 lakh. So of each ventilator he pocked Rs 6.50 lakh. So I filed interlocutory application in the Supreme Court asking for CBI inquiry into this matter,” the doctor said.
“To counter this action, yesterday he sent some people in the dialysis centre asking me to vacate immediately the dialysis centre which we are running for the last 18 years with nil mortality and 60 patients undergoing dialysis without any hassles,” the doctor stated, adding, “If I get anything in writing I will take it to the Supreme Court now and I will ask for immediate hearing of the matter including the ventilator purchases.”