Simha-Sindhuri spat reaches CM’s court
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Simha-Sindhuri spat reaches CM’s court

May 31, 2021

Mysuru-Kodagu MP seeks probe into setting up of step-down hospitals; fund utilisation

Mysore/Mysuru: The war of words between Mysuru-Kodagu MP Pratap Simha and Mysuru Deputy Commissioner (DC) Rohini Sindhuri reached a crescendo yesterday with the MP putting the ball in the court of Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa and Mysuru District Minister S.T. Somashekar. 

The MP wrote to Somashekar, sending copies to CM and State Chief Secretary, seeking a probe into the IAS Officer and the District Health Officer (DHO) for closing down 16 private COVID Care Centres (CCCs). He stated in his letter that the investigation must bring to light who accorded permission to open the CCCs or  step-down hospitals. 

Soon after the MP wrote the letter, Rohini Sindhuri hit back and said that charges against her are motivated and personal. She said that her focus was to make Mysuru a COVID-free district.

Sources said the Chief Minister has taken note of the rumblings in Mysuru and will soon put an end to it. Somashekar has confirmed to reporters that the CM will put an end to the war of words between the MP and DC and both will be asked to work together in co-ordination.  

Fund utilisation

In his letter, Pratap Simha sought accountability and explanation for Rs. 41 crore that has been released by the State Government for COVID-19 management in Mysuru. He accused the DC of blocking efforts to procure medicines by citing rules and procedures. 

“District Minister Somashekar ensured the release of Rs. 41 crore but officials in many review meetings say that they are handicapped due to lack of funds. We want an explanation on how the money was spent. There must be accountability and transparency on how the public money is spent,” he stated. 

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“When Rohini Sindhuri took over as Mysuru DC, I had defended her as the Opposition party leaders made disparaging remarks against her. I had taken a stand that in public life there is no place for personal remarks. But now her insensitive attitude is blocking COVID care and the number of deaths has increased drastically. As a responsible citizen, I had expressed concern and I had asked her to visit villages to take stock of the ground reality. But she resorted to raise public suspicion against elected representatives. This is disgusting.” – Pratap Simha, MP, Mysuru-Kodagu

Bone of contention

On the CCCs or step-down hospitals for mild COVID symptoms, the MP raised several issues like these units must have approval under the Karnataka Private Medical Establishment (KPME) Act. “These facilities must have suitable medical professionals and para-medical staff. Such hospitals must write to the DHO seeking permission and the DHO must inspect the units and only then accord the permission,” Pratap Simha said. 

An expert committee has to ascertain the facilities available in a hospital and submit a report to the DC before any decision can be taken. But neither was a committee constituted nor was there any report. In Mysuru, several private CCCs were set up throwing all the rules into the wind and no procedure was followed, the MP said. 

He questioned the DC and DHO on what basis permission was granted to establish the step-down hospitals and on whose recommendations or based on what report the CCCs were allowed to open. Pratap Simha has told the Minister and the CM that only a proper investigation would bring out the truth on whose interests were served by setting up the 16 CCCs. 

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Beds in private hospitals

On the number of beds reserved in private hospitals for Government-referred patients, the MP demanded to know as per the order issued by the Chief Secretary, 50 percent of the beds (in the first order) and 75 percent of beds (in the second order) must be handed over to the Government by private hospitals. 

“In many meetings chaired by Minister Somashekar, the District Administration was asked to appoint Nodal Officers to ensure that the beds are handed over and the hospitals fell in line. Despite the order, the Mysuru Administration dilly-dallied on the appointment of Nodal Officers. The number of beds available in all private hospitals, the number of government patients admitted and the number of other patients admitted must be made public,” he demanded. 

Mincing no words, Pratap Simha went on to call Rohini Sindhuri ‘insensitive’ and asserted that an investigation would bring out the DC’s ‘true colours’.

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