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Womb scam in Bihar, nursing homes performed hysterectomy on even males and minor girls

PTI 08 Aug 2012, 8:17:18 IST
Patna, Aug 8: The womb scam by unscrupulous doctors in Bihar  has revealed swindling of several crores of rupees of Centre's money through  fake hysterectomies (removal of wombs)  on even males and minor girls, the tabloid Mail Today reported.

Last month, it came to light that private nursing homes in Bihar's Samastipur district made a killing by needlessly removing the wombs of underprivileged women entitled to an insurance dole.

Now, it  has been revealed that these healthcare units swindled money provided to the poor people under the National Health Insurance Scheme by claiming to have performed hysterectomy (uterus removal operation) even on men.

The racket that presupposes an anatomical impossibility was bared at the ongoing five-day medical camp being organised by the district administration.  

This was undertaken to unearth irregularities in the centrally-sponsored scheme under which a BPL (below poverty level) family is provided health insurance of Rs 30,000 a year, the report said.

The scamsters had also used a minor girl's name to claim a sum of Rs 12,000 as insurance for an operation that had never taken place.

 Administration sources said in one case, the smart card of a poor man who had died three years ago was used on the pretext that the doctors had 'performed hysterectomy' on him.

Sources said at least 12 cases of hysterectomy on male patients were also unearthed.

Among them were Ram Punit Mahato and Ramashray Das from Ujiyarpur block, whose insurance money was claimed for the operation at a local private nursing home without their knowledge.

Hundreds of people, mostly women from the poor families, have been attending the camp at Patel Maidan since August 4 to ascertain whether they have been duped by private hospitals.

The administration has deployed doctors and arranged for ultrasound machines at the venue to determine the nature of anomalies.

Among the visitors at the camp was Sudha Kumari, a 14-year-old from Sijauli village, whose name figured on the list of women who had undergone hysterectomy.

Sudha's mother Sunaina Devi said her daughter was a class VIII student and had never been to any hospital.

Yet money had been withdrawn from her smart card.

 In another case, 35-year-old widow Munni Devi from Patori block was surprised when she was told at the medical camp that her uterus was intact.

The woman told officials that she was admitted to a private nursing home and made to believe that hysterectomy was performed on her. The nursing home had then withdrawn Rs 10,000 from her account.

Samastipur DM said at least 50 to 100 cases were detected in which no operation had taken place, but money was claimed.