Health watch: Delhi govt hospitals given power to purchase equipment
According to the February 8 order, signed by Principal Secretary (Health), to all hospitals, “full powers” of purchase have been handed out to the heads of hospitals.
The directive reportedly came after instructions were issued from the Department of Finance, which observed that despite urgent need for new equipment, hospitals were spending very little from their allocated budget.
Health Minister Dr A K Walia said: “Decentralising the system aims to help hospitals make purchases fast, according to their needs. We hope this will improve hospitals’ functioning and save time. Medical superintendents have been designated as head of hospitals to make purchases.”
Hospitals believe the move will help improve patient care, but a section in the Health department claimed the only monitoring mechanism for purchases has been removed.
“This is a department that has seen a lot of corruption, especially around the Commonwealth Games. No other state has given so much freedom to individual hospitals. It has to be seen how this move will affect hospitals,” an official said.
Justifying the decision, senior Health officials said purchases over the past two years “have not been as they should have”.
“Hospitals have been returning crores from their allocated funds, since there have been hardly any new purchases over the past
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