New Delhi, Dec 22: Top government auditor has slammed the Defence Ministry over alleged "irregularities" and "deficiency" in the implementation of the Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme which caused the exchequer a loss of over Rs 100 crore.
The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) also brought out various shortcomings in the implementation like short supply of medicines to the polyclinics, raising of two claims for the same patients during the overlapping period, irregular payment towards unaccounted bills of empanelled hospitals among others.
The schemes aims to provide health care to around 47 lakh beneficiaries on a cashless basis in line with Central Government health Scheme (CGHS) through a network of 426 polyclinics, service hospitals and private empanelled hospitals spread over the country.
The CAG said availability of medicines, medical equipment, manpower were inadequate in these polyclinics due to which they were forced to function as point of referral of patients to the empanelled hospitals/labs, which consumed about 70 per cent of revenue expenditure of the scheme.
Moreover, funds allotted for the scheme for procurement of medicines/stores were diverted or utilized for treatment of regular service personnel to the extent of Rs 40.78 crore, the report said.
The report highlighted the irregular payment of Rs 23.61 crore made by Station Hqrs (ECHS Cell), Delhi Cantt against the unaccounted bill involving double payments against a particular bill/duplicate bills.
The report also highlighted unethical practices adopted by the empanelled hospitals such as raising of inflated bills for the treatment of indoor patients involving overpayment of Rs 3.51 crore.
It said claims amounting to Rs 42.67 lakh were raised simultaneously by two empanelled hospitals for the same patient and for the same time period.
The overpayment/irregular payments to empanelled hospitals could not be detected earlier due to grossly "inadequate post audit of medical bills by internal audit and lack of internal control mechanism for the scheme".