Audit report reveals payments made for fake tubectomy operations

Patna: A local court in Bihar has issued arrest warrants against 12 doctors for siphoning funds meant to perform tubectomy operations on poor women under National Rural Health Mission.

The warrant of arrest was issued by the state vigilance court on Friday after the audit report of the State Health Society revealed payments were made for fake tubectomy operations, widely known as “womb scam”. The scam took place in Kaimur, a south-western district more than 200km from Patna, in 2011.

A notable face among the 12 accused doctors is Dr Punit Kumar Singh, son of former Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) parliamentarian Jagadanand Singh, considered very close to party chief Lalu Prasad Yadav. Dr Singh had recently unsuccessfully contested the elections to the Bihar Legislative Council as a RJD candidate.

“Some of the doctors were found to have conducted more than one tubectomy operation on a single woman,” Kaimur district superintendent of police Harpreet Kaur was quoted as saying in a local media today.

The revelation came to light following a thorough investigation into the National Rural Health Mission spends in Kaimur.

The investigation showed one of the “beneficiaries” Mina Devi, 29, not only delivered 12 babies in a year but also underwent 14 tubectomy operations during the same period.

The investigation further showed at least 11 women delivered children five to 12 times in a year, besides undergoing tubectomy operations for around a dozen times during the same period. The inquiry also showed one of the doctors conducted as many as 725 operations in a week.

According to a report of the state government, more than 500 poor women had their uteruses removed by the doctors allegedly to avail incentives through insurance companies under the National Health Insurance Scheme.

Last year in May, the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) asked the government to pay compensation of Rs180 million (Dh10 million) to the women who lost their right to motherhood through one act of greedy doctors.

The Commission addedthe surgeries performed on the young women were completely unwarranted.