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Kickbacks from the poor

Friday, July 15th, 2016
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Minister_RJC

Health Minister Ram Janam Chaudhari

From the Nepali Press

Bhagwati Timilsina in Nepal Samacharpatra, 15 July

Even as the no-confidence motion was being registered against the government led by Prime Minister KP Oli, his Health Minister Ram Janam Chaudhari and State Minister of Health and Population (MoHP) Mohammad Mustak Alam have been trying to extort kickbacks from hospitals serving the rural poor.

Some 23 community hospitals are supposed to get government grants of up to Rs 500 million each after presenting proposals to the Planning Division of the MoHP. However, sources say Health Minister Chaudhari and State Minister Alam are demanding up to 50 per cent in personal kickbacks in return for approving the grants.

One representative of a community hospital said: “How can we keep up the quality of health in our district if the ministers take nearly half the money away?”

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State Minister of Health Mohammad Mustak Alam

The representatives of other hospitals, who reached the ministry on Wednesday to sign their agreements, requested Acting Secretary Padam Bahadur Chand and State Minister Alam to make the procedure clean and short.

Before formulation of the directive to provide such grants to community hospitals, the ministry used to distribute grants arbitrarily to political cronies. However, the 23 hospitals outside Kathmandu were supposed to receive their budget support after the provision was clearly mentioned in the Community Hospital Grants Directive 2016.

One of the high-level officials at the ministry informed that Rs 10 million has already been released to Tikapur Hospital in Kailali, hometown of Health Minister Chaudhari, however other hospitals are facing delays. Some of the hospitals that received the grants are said to be close to chief of the Planning Division, former secretary at the ministry Shanta Bahadur Shrestha and incumbent ministers.

Hospital representatives have been given the runaround for a whole week, and their expenses are rising while they go to the Ministry every day to get the grants they are entitled to. Officials tell them the money has not been transferred, or to wait fruitlessly until 4 pm every day. The ministers could not be reached for comments.

 

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One Response to “Kickbacks from the poor”

  1. Guido on Says:

    why don’t these hospitals go to the communities they serve and have them hassle their elected representatives to oversee these funds?! try doing that and see what happens.

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