Bhubaneswar: In a crackdown on brokerage activities at hospitals, police today arrested as many as 12 brokers from AIIMS Bhubaneswar on the charge of collecting money from poor patients on the pretext of arranging tickets for their doctor consultation.
Sources said though the premiere institute provided free medical services, poor patients were at the mercy of middlemen who were selling tickets for OPD at rates as high as Rs 4,000-Rs 5,000. Many complaints had earlier been filed with the police in this connection as patients who came from far-flung areas were facing a lot of harassment.
Taking the allegations into consideration, Khandagiri police carried out an operation dressed in civil clothes and posing as patients or their relatives and caught the brokers red-handed while they were brokering tickets at Rs 5,000.
Police said though the brokers were arrested, their numbers may increase in the coming days.
On October 28, the Odisha government’s Health and Family Welfare Department had directed all State-run medical colleges and hospitals to act strictly against brokers diverting patients to private hospitals and clinics from the OPDs of government hospitals .