South Bengal State Transport Corporation, the state-owned passenger transport major, finally has terminated the controversial agency’s contract, accused of siphoning Rs 7.19cr from its e-ticketing system since 2014.
Four persons were arrested today on charges of operating a tout racket at SSKM Hospital. These individuals have been identified as Abhishek Mallik(23), Abhoy Balmiki(20), Deb Mallik(19) and Surinder Kumar(30) all residing in the Bhawanipur area. Efforts to curb the influence of touts and middlemen at SSKM Hospital have intensified recently, with multiple steps taken by the authorities. Initiatives include deploying trolley attendants in the emergency ward and issuing warnings outside various hospital departments.
However, despite these measures, the grip of brokers in the health- care system seems far from broken. In a recent development, the police headquarters Lalbazar’s Anti-Rowdy Squad conducted this operation leading to the apprehension of four brokers operating within the vicinity of Bhawanipur Police Station. They were produced before the court today.
The police have revealed that these brokers have been involved in various extortion schemes, targeting patients and their families. Their tactics range from demanding money for securing ICU beds to exorbitant charges for blood transfusions. The situation becomes even more complicated when patients, unaware of these illegal practices, become vulnerable to exploitation. This crackdown against brokers in healthcare facilities comes as Sagar Datta Medical College and Hospital recently witnessed a similar situation where Kamarhati’s MLA, Madan Mitra, raised allegations of overcharging. Madan Mitra accused the hospital of charging Rs 6,000 for ICU beds and Rs 1,700 for blood transfusions. He claimed that a patient named Raman Halder was being admitted to the hospital under his care.
The arrest of these brokers has brought to light the ongoing challenges in ensuring that healthcare services remain affordable and accessible to all. While efforts are being made to eradicate these practices, the fight against unscrupulous middlemen in the healthcare system continues. Yesterday two persons were arrested from NRS Medical College and Hospital.