In Kurnool Government General Hospital (KGGH), not a single heart patient has undergone procedure for stent between 2008 and 2014, and the treatment was confined to only angiogram, despite a cath lab having been set up in the hospital in 2008.

Even after that, the number of stents placed in patients was below 20 per cent. The reason: Most of the cases were diverted from the KGGH to various private hospitals, allegedly by some doctors for commission.

Dr C Prabhakar Reddy, a senior surgeon at KGGH, says some doctors and staff who have teamed up are not sending surgery cases to the Cardiothoracic Department after patients are put through angiogram. The government has spent `8 crore for developing a Cardio-Thoracic Surgery Department, but hardly 10 to fifteen patients come to this department in a year. “I am always ready to perform any type of surgeries if they send cases to this department,” he said.

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The cardiology department in KGGH has 40 medical beds and 10 ICU beds. Several crores of rupees were spent for equipping the department with latest machines. Cath lab has been installed at a cost of `4 crore, IABT machine worth `25 lakh has been installed along with three echo machines each costing `50 lakh and other equipment worth `1 crore. As per records with the hospital, on an average `13 crore was spent on salaries of doctors and other staff per annum.

According to sources in the hospital, as per norms, doctors should conduct all medical tests on patients admitted with cardiac problems. Later, they need to start treatment starting with angiogram and later go for placing stents or conducting bypass surgery as per the requirement of the case. These treatments are performed under Aarogyasri.The state government sanctions `1 lakh to `1.50 lakh based on medical treatment per patient under Aarogyasri.

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However, in reality, at KGGH, when a patient in need of either open heart surgery or stent gets admitted, the doctors generally perform an angiogram and advise them to go to private hospitals. Those doctors who refer them to a private hospital are said to receive, on an average, `25,000 per patient as commission.
An inquiry team led by Joint Collector V Prasanna Venkatesh visited the hospital and conducted a probe into allegations against the Cardiology Department from where Arogyasri cases were diverted.

In the year of 2014: Angiogram done at KGGH under Aarogyasri cases 515, under Non Aarogyasri cases 300 and out of the total 815, the doctors did stent treatment to only 95. Others were shifted to private hospitals to get further medical treatment like stent and surgery.
In the year of 2015: Angiogram done at KGGH under Aarogyasri cases 533, under Non Aarogyasree cases 68 and out of the total 601, the doctors did stent treatment to only 60.

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In the year of 2016: Angiogram done at KGGH under Aarogyasri cases 573, under Non Aarogyasri cases 77 and out of the total 650, doctors did stent treatment to 95.

In the year of 2017: Angiogram done at KGGH under Aarogyasri cases 697, under Non Aarogyasri cases 72 and out of the total 769, the doctors did stent treatment to only 186. #KhabarLive