Govt sanctions mere Rs 70 per patient for food at its hospitals

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 06 Nov 2018 09:41:19


Staff Reporter,

What could be termed as mockery, Public Health Department of Maharashtra has sanctioned a meagre amount of Rs 70 for providing food per patient admitted in Government hospitals throughout the State. This food provision includes two-times’ tea, morning breakfast, lunch
and dinner. According to some doctors in city, sanctioning
such a meagre amount for providing food will not only lead to corruption but also result in not getting proper food to patients. Because one can not hire quality food service in
just Rs 70.

There are 495 hospitals under the department including rural hospitals, sub-district hospitals, general hospitals, women hospitals, district hospitals. The service of providing food to patients was discontinued and Government was considering to restart the service. The amount sanctioned for the food service in all these hospitals is Rs 47.28 crore. If this much amount is taken into account then daily every patient would get Rs 70 for his or her food.

As per approximate calculation, the expected days of the patients in all the 495 hospitals are considered as 65,57,728. If the quantity of food is taken into account then the amount sanctioned per patient seemed to be very less. But the department has tried to convince general public that Rs 70 is quite enough for one day’s food. For example, the department has given a chart of the quantity of food items to be given. How much milk, sugar, tea powder is to be mixed for preparing tea has been made clear in the chart. Same is the case with breakfast, lunch and dinner. It says the tea should be made of 150ml milk, 12.50 gram sugar, 2.5 gram tea powder, 25 ml milk. Maintaining these specification is very difficult.

The department has fixed terms and conditions according to which the rates of food items should be less than those in the market. It should be ensured that the rates prescribed by the concerned supplier should not be exceeded than the ones charged by him elsewhere. There should not be any duplication of purchase. While conducting purchase the guidelines of Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) should be followed. Since the amount is more than Rs 3 lakh, the purchase should be done through e-tendering.

Expressing his opinion on this development, a person who runs a small hotel on condition of anonymity told The Hitavada, “The way, the department has fixed the rate and quantity of food, can not be implemented. The quality may hamper. In just Rs 70 one can not provide quality food. In market there is a rice that costs Rs 50 per kg and Rs 15 per kg also. Contractor might provide only pulses soup, to cut on the expenses, without any nutritious value. Ultimately the patient would be the sufferer.”