Two private labs conducted nearly 22 lakh tests between February and December 2023, with 65,000 identified as fake.
The Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) has unearthed a significant scam in Delhi’s Mohalla clinics, revealing that 65,000 “ghost patients” underwent pathological tests through private labs during 11 months of 2023. The preliminary inquiry disclosed that two private labs conducted nearly 22 lakh tests, out of which 65,000 were identified as fake. The Delhi government reportedly paid Rs 4.63 crore to the labs for these tests.
Following Delhi Lt Governor VK Saxena’s recommendation for a CBI probe into irregularities in lab tests at the Arvind Kejriwal government’s Mohalla clinics, the Ministry of Home Affairs directed the CBI to investigate the matter.
ACB officials revealed that the private labs allegedly conducted tests on ghost patients who never visited the Mohalla clinics. The Lab Management Information System (LIMS) containing patient details was operated and manipulated by the labs. The report emphasized the labs’ “full control and access” to data and system software, raising concerns about data manipulation.
Random tele-verification of mobile numbers associated with patients at both private labs exposed irregularities, with numerous tests conducted on invalid or unrelated mobile numbers. The analysis of patient data from one private laboratory revealed tests with blank mobile numbers, ‘zero’ mobile numbers, fake mobile numbers, and repeated mobile numbers.
The ACB’s findings highlight a potential financial impact, with the Delhi government paying substantial sums for tests conducted on non-existent patients. The revelation raises questions about the accountability and transparency of the Mohalla clinic testing system.