BAHAWALNAGAR-Financial irregularities have been unearthed in the affairs of the District Headquarters (DHQ) Hospital Bahawalnagar as its managed purchases medicines from a company at inflated rates thereby causing huge loss to the national exchequer.

With the connivance of corrupt officials of health department, the pharmaceutical company supplies medicines to the hospital at highly inflated rates. For instance, a heparotex injection is supplied at Rs550 instead of its prescribed rate of Rs261. Likewise, blood tubing line is sold at Rs300 instead of its official price of Rs169 to the hospital by the company.

The health officials purchase various drugs from the firm at very high rates while the rates prescribed by the health authorities for the medicines are remarkably low, sources said. They purchase the medicines at higher prices and get commission from the firm causing huge loss to the national exchequer.

Public circles expressed apprehension over the situation and demanded the Punjab chief minister rid the hospital of the mafia.

Medical Superintendent of the DHQ Hospital and CEO of District Health Authority Abdul Aziz Sheikh has said that the medicines were not procured during his tenure, adding that the medicine receipts showed that the drugs were purchased before he had assumed the charge of Medical Superintendent of District Headquarters (DHQ) Hospital Bahawalnagar.

However, Bahawalnagar Deputy Commissioner Azhar Hayyat has constituted a committee to probe the irregularities. After the findings of the probe, the action would be taken against the responsible persons, he said.

On the other side, the District Health Authority claimed that it was providing healthcare especially the maternity health services at 25 basic health units (BHUs) in Sialkot district.

Sialkot District Health Authority CEO Latif Ahmed Sahi said that the health services were being provided for all the local women at local BHUs that have been provided with seven ambulances for the transportation of patients.

Earlier, these BHUs had only a morning shift, having no arrangements for delivery and the patients had to travel long to reach the nearby urban areas for delivery purposes, he said.

He added that the round-the-clock maternity health services have been introduced in these BHUs for the first time in Sialkot district. He added that in the next phase of the programme, the health services would be expanded to all the 88 basic health units (BHUs) in Sialkot district.

He said that each of the 25 BHUs had been given a target of having at least 30 deliveries in a month. He said that health services had been started in 10 BHUs of Raja Harpal, Daallowali, Bonkan, Muradpur, Jodheywali, Chhawonu Sulehriyaan, Variyo, Padaal, Uggoki and Joriyaan Kalan in Sialkot tehsil, five BHUs Siraanwali, Glotiyaan, Aadamkey Cheema, Gojra and Jhaaraanwala in Daska tehsil, five BHUs Saahowala, Dhaanaanwali, Randheer, Malkhaanwala and Bhopalwala in Sambrial tehsil and five BHUs Qila Kalarwala, Ban Bajwa, Chobara, Kingra and Badiana in Pasrur tehsil.

He said that two security guards, two female servants and two lady health visitors (LHVs) each had also been deputed at the BHUs.