Kerala Health Minister P.K. Sreemathi has announced a probe into news reports that hospital equipment worth Rs.50 million, gifted by a US-based entrepreneur , has been rotting in the Kochi port for three years.
Sreemathi said she had read reports about comments made by Dr. M. Anirudhan, a US-settled businessman who won an award at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, the annual diaspora meet held in New Delhi.
Anirudhan disclosed that he had sent equipment like wheelchairs, stretchers and several other apparatus to five government run hospitals.
News reports indicated that the consignment was stuck in the Kochi port after a top official asked for personal favours to clear the equipment.
"This is a very serious issue and erring officials would be brought to book," Sreemathi told IANS.
"Since the healthcare system in the state has been suffering from shortages of manpower and funds, we sought help from the non-resident Keralite community. However, incidents like this create roadblocks to the system," she added.