Aug 27,2012- Indian Express
Over 16,000 hysterectomies (surgical removal of the uterus), most of them “unnecessary”, have been reported at private hospitals across Bihar during the last one year allegedly to “avail insurance benefit” under the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojna.
The RSBY was launched by the Centre in April 2008.
Preliminary investigation by Samastipur, Madhubani and Chhapra district authorities, which reported the maximum number of complaints, showed 10,000 hysterectomies took place in these three districts alone. While Samastipur administration found 1,300 of such operations suspicious, Chhapra has put 1,700 such cases under the scanner. Madhubani conducted over 1,200 such surgeries in a year.
Under the RSBY, a BPL family can avail maximum Rs 30,000 in case of hospitalisation. A BPL family has to pay Rs 30 for getting registered under the health scheme. The government pays the annual premium amount for BPL families.
Bihar has 76 BPL families availing the scheme, under which a biometric smart card is given.
The labour resources department, which is the nodal agency for implementation of RSBY, has sought report from district magistrates of 38 districts. Samastipur DM Kundan Kumar has finalised his report. Saran (Chhapra) DM Vinay Kumar has set up an inquiry team under sub-divisional officer V K Pandey. His report says that most women having undergone the surgery were below 30 years.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar ordered inquiries into the alleged illegal uterus removals last month.
Bihar Labour Resources Minister Janardhan Singh Sigriwal told The Indian Express: “It will be too early to call it a scam. Only five per cent of women in the state have gone for hysterectomy as against the national average of over seven per cent.”
He said that if DMs’ reports suggest any nexus between private hospitals, NGOs and intermediaries to siphon off insurance amount, the government would take action.
“We are waiting for reports from DMs. We have heard about some initial findings from Chhapra and Samastipur. We will get the cases examined by medical teams and then arrive at any conclusion on police action,” Sigriwal said.
8,000 hysterectomies in year — maximum in the state
5,000 in clinics in and around Samastipur town
Private hospitals claimed reimbursement of Rs 12 crore over last one year
One hospital claimed Rs 1.28 crore while another got Rs 97.18 lakh
A clinic in Shahpur Patiori block claimed reimbursement of Rs 55.42 lakh
Another at Dalsingsarai claimed Rs 32.24 lakh
DM’s report said 489 operations were summarily conducted without any need
Some surgeries conducted only on paper