Bhubaneswar, Sept 29 (LocalWire): Odisha Police today arrested 16 touts from government-run hospitals and regional transport offices across the state for effective service delivery in these government facilities.
With today’s arrest, the number of middlemen held so far in the latest round of crackdown has gone up to 91.
The crackdown comes in the wake of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik issuing directives to make the government hospitals and RTOs free of middlemen and to ensure quality healthcare services to patients.
‘As part of our sustained efforts to weed out fixers, police arrested 12 middlemen cheating patients in government hospitals.
Besides, four touts operating in RTOs were also taken into custody.
On the basis of FIRs, they were forwarded to court.
Further investigation is on to identify others in the continuing operation,’ said Bijoy Kumar Sharma, Director General of Police.
‘It has been found that the touts or the middlemen operate as agents of private healthcare institutes on commission basis to reroute the inpatients from government hospitals.
The poor and illiterate patients often become their soft targets.
These touts also operate on payment basis by private diagnostic centres to fleece poor patients.
Alleged nexus of hospitals’ staffs with the gang of touts may not be ruled out. All aspects of the racket of agents are being looked into,’ he said.
Similarly the middlemen who used to fleece the people are being weeded out from RTOs.
Investigation of these cases shall focus on establishing links of middlemen with others including owners of nursing homes, diagnostic centres, health officials, transport operators and transport officials so that appropriate legal action can be taken against them.
The drive against middle men will continue on a daily basis under the direct supervision of Superintendents of Police and Deputy Commissioner of Police.
They have been directed to submit Situation Report (SITREP) rrgularly regarding action taken in different districts, he added.