Current Affairs 2023
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested a neurosurgeon and four accomplices from Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi for allegedly extorting patients into purchasing surgical equipment at inflated prices.
Mar 30, 2023
4 min read
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested a neurosurgeon from Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi and four of his accomplices for allegedly extorting patients by making them buy surgical equipment at exorbitant prices. The accused neurosurgeon, Manish Rawat, was taken into custody in the early hours of Thursday. Along with him, Deepak Khattar, the owner of Kanishka Surgical in New Delhi, and middlemen Avnesh Patel, Manish Sharma, and Kuldeep were also arrested.
The CBI alleges that Mr. Rawat conspired with his accomplices to demand money from patients for medical consultations and surgical procedures, breaking the established protocols of the hospital. According to the CBI, Mr. Patel contacted the relatives of the patients on behalf of Mr. Rawat and asked them to purchase surgical instruments from Mr. Khattar's shop in Jangpura to secure early appointments for surgery. The patients were asked to pay either in cash to Sharma or Kuldeep, who worked for Mr. Khattar, or transfer the money online to mobile numbers linked to their bank accounts. The money collected from the patients was then delivered to Mr. Rawat personally in cash or sent to others as per his directives.
The CBI alleges that Mr. Rawat coerced patients into paying several times the actual price for the instruments, and Mr. Khattar shared the profits of overbilling with him. The CBI also accuses Mr. Rawat of siphoning off the excess money generated by the sale of overpriced surgical equipment and laundering their ill-gotten gains through various companies controlled by Ganesh Chandra, a private individual in Bareilly.
The CBI has urged anyone with information about the case to come forward and share it with the agency. They have also advised the public to be cautious about such scams and report any suspicious activities to the authorities. The agency has stated that it will continue to investigate the case and take appropriate action against all those involved in the alleged extortion.
UPSC Main Exam Ethics Question
Discuss the ethical issues involved in the alleged extortion by the Safdarjung Hospital neurosurgeon and his accomplices. What steps could have been taken to prevent such a situation, and how can healthcare professionals ensure that such malpractices do not occur in the future?
Answer: The alleged extortion by the Safdarjung Hospital neurosurgeon and his accomplices raises several ethical concerns. Firstly, the act of exploiting vulnerable patients and their families is a breach of the trust that patients place in healthcare professionals. Such actions undermine the integrity of the medical profession and erode public confidence in the healthcare system.
Secondly, the alleged collusion between the neurosurgeon and the surgical equipment supplier violates the principles of fair play and transparency. The overpricing of surgical instruments and the sharing of profits between the two parties are unethical practices that compromise patient care.
Thirdly, the act of siphoning off excess money generated by the sale of overpriced surgical equipment and laundering it through various companies is a form of corruption that undermines the rule of law and erodes public trust in institutions.
To prevent such situations, healthcare professionals must uphold the highest ethical standards in their practice. They must adhere to established protocols and guidelines, and avoid engaging in activities that could compromise patient care. Hospitals and healthcare institutions must also have robust mechanisms in place to prevent and detect malpractices.
One way to ensure that healthcare professionals adhere to ethical standards is to implement a system of regular monitoring and auditing. This could include random checks on medical consultations and surgical procedures, as well as periodic audits of financial transactions.
Another way to prevent such malpractices is to increase transparency in the healthcare system. Hospitals and healthcare institutions could provide patients with information about the costs of medical consultations, surgical procedures, and equipment, as well as the sources of funding for the institution.
In conclusion, the alleged extortion by the Safdarjung Hospital neurosurgeon and his accomplices raises serious ethical concerns. Healthcare professionals must uphold the highest ethical standards in their practice and avoid engaging in activities that compromise patient care. Hospitals and healthcare institutions must have robust mechanisms in place to prevent and detect malpractices, and increase transparency in the healthcare system.
More on iasindepth