Hyderabad: Food contractors to government hospitals, including NIMS and Niloufer, across Telangana are duping the state by submitting inflated bills. In nexus with hospital superintendents, the contractors are showing on records that they are providing high-protein diet as against normal food supplied to patients, according to a study carried out by a committee, which pegged the diet scam at over Rs 3 crore at Niloufer Children's Hospital alone.

The Medical Education Director had appointed the committee to look into the food and diet supply and payments to the contractors. The committee found out that the food supply scam is taking place at all the government hospitals across Telangana.

"The over-invoicing takes place in many forms. For instance, if the food is provided to 40 patients in the ward, it is shown as 90 patients. Niloufer hospital is a children hospital. But on records, food carrying over 3,200 calories is supplied here. How it is possible at a children's hospital where mostly infants are there? The high-protein scam is happening at all government hospitals," said an official.

Sources said the food and diet scam has been taking place over the years, but no action has been taken as influential people are involved in this. According to GO:325, about 2,104 calories are sufficient for children below 15 years. But the records show that high-protein food with 3,200 calories is being provided to children.

The official said, "Niloufer hospital has 16 wards and each ward generally has 30 beds. Based on this, an indent will be sent to the contractor. General diet costs Rs 40 and high-protein diet costs Rs 56 as per the chart."

The official added, "Regardless of the chart, the invoicing shows that the high-protein diet is given to 95 per cent of children." The medical and health department is reviewing the situation and examining the payment records.