After almost a week, Health and Family Welfare Minister Kaul Singh Thakur, rejected the allegations leveled in the BJP chargesheet and called them a bundle of lies and motivated to mislead the common people.
In a press communiqué, Kaul Singh Thakur claimed that the charges leveled against him regarding outsourcing of laboratories were not based on the facts. He said that outsourcing of Laboratory Technicians was restricted to 23 health institutions which have 100 or more beds. The outsourced laboratory would collect sample only between 12 PM to 9 AM the next day. For testing purpose they would set up their own laboratory and Government Laboratory would not be used by them and will continue to work as usual, he added.
Thakur said that need for outsourcing has arisen as most of identified institutions were not able to collect sample and report them in 24×7 basis due to shortage of manpower. He said that manpower shortage was due to posts lying vacant, increase in number of institutions and patients since 1990 when the cadre strength of most of the paramedics was fixed.
The Minister said that for laboratory service in respect of 100 bedded and above hospitals, Expression of Interest (EOI) were invited on 1st July, 2013 by the Department through advertisement published in newspapers on 6th and 7th July, 2013. M/S Dr. Lal Path Lab. Pvt. Ltd. Sanjauli, M/S BVP Lab. Ripon, Shimla-1, M/S SRI Ltd. New Delhi and M/S Modern Clinical Lab Amritsar and M/S Mahamaya Health Services Shimla-1 have procured the terms and conditions document/tender.
Kaul Singh said that the last date for receipt of applications was 22 July 2013 upto 3 PM. Only two bidders M/S SRI Ltd. New Delhi and M/S Modern Clinical Lab Amritsar submitted their quotations pertaining to the outsourcing of the Lab., services in 100 and above bedded health institutions. Keeping the interests of the patients, the outsourcing of lab services was done by signing the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 26th September, 2013 between Government of Himachal Pradesh and M/S SRI Ltd. New Delhi and Rogi Kalyan Samities, as per the approved rate of RKS of concerned health institutions.
Health Minister said that as per the MoU the State was responsible only for providing free space to the SRI Lab. whereas the private vendor will provide all tests at RKS rates. He said that it was a huge additional benefit to the people of the State who would get an alternate facility on the existing rates of RKS in terms of all tests for which otherwise they have to pay more money in private sectors.
He said that the State Government was making efforts to fill up the vacant posts of Senior Laboratory Technicians and Laboratory Assistants, as it was evident form Government permission granted on 10th July 2013 to recruit 99 more Laboratories Assistants. These posts have been advertised for filling by Himachal Pradesh Subordinate Selection Board besides Rogi Kalyan Samiti have also been allowed to hire Laboratory Assistants in those institutions which do not have a Laboratory Assistant/ Technician.
Kaul Singh Thakur said that this decision has been taken for benefit of people of the State after completing all codal formalities. It was an initiative for the betterment of the people where all patients coming to these 100 bedded and above hospitals to get specialized services would get the facility of diagnostic tests 24×7 hours basis at Government rates and it was silly and improper to criticize the same.