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ACB unearths four illegally run private hospitals in Delhi

The Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) of Delhi has found four private hospitals allegedly running illegally and 40 others with several discrepancies in its probe into the registration and regulatory management of all private medical facilities running in the city, officials said on Thursday.

In the wake of a deadly fire at a neonatal hospital in Vivek Vihar that killed seven newborns on May 25, the ACB teams have inspected 62 private medical facilities in several parts of Delhi in last one week, they said.

According to a senior government officer, 62 private hospitals and nursing homes have been inspected in the first phase of operation and four of them were found to be running illegally.

“Of these four hospitals, two are located in east Delhi’s Krishna Nagar and Kondli and one in west Delhi’s Rajauri Garden and another in south Delhi’s Devli area. These hospitals have failed to show any license or provide the registration certificate from the authority concerned,” the officer said.

He said 40 other medical facilities were found to be running with discrepancies. Some of them were running with more beds against the sanctioned capacity, some without fire NOC (no objection certificate), without proper fire-safety measures, outdated fire extinguishers or expired registration certificate.

Another ACB official said they have formed a report after their first phase of the inspection and informed the vigilance department about the alleged anomalies in the hospitals.
The official said that they will soon start the second phase of inspection as Delhi has more than 1,000 private hospitals and nursing homes.

Six newborns died in the fire at the Baby Care New Born Hospital in Vivek Vihar on May 25. Among the five injured children rescued from the hospital, one died during treatment on May 31.

While ordering a comprehensive anti-corruption probe into the incident on May 28, Delhi Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena said the incident has brought out the “sheer mismanagement, criminal neglect and connivance of officials of the health department” in granting and renewing registrations of nursing homes.

Dr Naveen Khichi, the owner of the Vivek Vihar hospital, was arrested by the Delhi Police as the facility was found violating fire-safety norms. The hospital was allegedly treating patients beyond its capacity and its licence had expired on March 31, the officials said.

According to the ACB officials, the probe teams are checking the documents and registration certificates required for running hospitals and nursing homes. They are also probing the alleged involvement of government officials in allowing such facilities to operate in their areas, without proper registration certificates, licences and safety norms. PTI

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