Delhi Pvt Hospitals Asked To Pay Rs 36 & Rs 10 Cr Respectively For Profiting On Beds For The Poor
The Delhi government has asked two big private hospitals to pay up vast amounts after it has been found out that they have been making profits on the beds meant for the economically weaker section (EWS) by giving to paid patients, reports The Times Of India.
These hospitals had been allotted land at concessional rates by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) for the ‘welfare of the society.’ The hospitals had failed to reserve 25% of the beds and provide free outpatient services to EWS patients, which were conditions of the lease or allotment of the land by the Delhi Development Authority.
The hospitals are supposed to pay Rs 10.60 crore and Rs 36.30 crore respectively for the exorbitant profits they have been making.
In the notice to Shanti Mukund Hospital, the DGHS sought to recover ₹36,30,58,938 “on account of unwarranted profit”. The hospital, set up in 1995, was given 6,852.64 square metre land by the DDA at the institutional area near Karkardooma village.
The notice to Pushpawati Singhania Research Institute, run by the Laxmipat Singhania Medical Foundation, sought ₹10,60,80,983. The foundation had been allotted 2 acres of land on Sheikh Sarai Marg by the DDA in 1990 with the free treatment of EWS patients being one of the conditions, as per the notice.
The hospitals have been given a month to deposit the amount, failing which they would face action.
Similar action could be initiated against other hospitals with a reduced rate of occupancy in EWS category.
Actions that have been taken previously
The government had previously sent letters to 43 identified private hospitals, seeking detailed information on the date of possession of the land, services provided and money saved by not providing free treatment to poor patients.
“In spite of multiple reminders and notices, the hospitals failed to make the EWS admission process transparent. We get complaints about poor patients being denied admission on frivolous excuses. This is unacceptable,” a government official reportedly said.
The additional secretary, health and family welfare, had recently held a meeting to discuss steps to be taken for optimum utilisation of EWS beds.
It has been decided that those hospitals which have got land at concessional rates are supposed to declare it at their entry and exit gates on a 10X6 board. Also, EWS patients would, therefore, be able to avail free treatment to the extent of 10% IPD and 25% of total OPD quota,” the official added.
In 2011, the Supreme Court ruled that the individuals who have a household income of less than Rs 8086 per month are entitled to free medical treatment in private hospitals built on land acquired at concessional rates from the government in Delhi/ NCR.
The Logical Indian appreciates the move taken by the government and hopes that the private hospitals would sit up and look into the matter. It is essential that they open their doors to poor and the needy, especially when the law directs them to do so.