Pvt hospitals reluctant to treat poor patients for free

No BPL card only a declaration of the family income required for treatment in pvt hospitals


Jasleen Kaur | December 12, 2011

Barring a few hospitals, majority of the private hospitals in the capital are reluctant to provide free treatment to patients from the economically weaker section (EWS), the monitoring committee constituted by Delhi government has observed after examining several private hospitals in the city on Saturday.

At Maharaja Agarsen Hospital in West Delhi’s Punjabi Bagh, it was found that only six EWS patients against 38 EWS beds were admitted. All these six patients were referred by the government hospitals. The committee has advised the hospital to appoint a social worker to increase the number of patients in the IPD and OPD under free category.

In another case, a EWS patient was referred by Hindu Rao Hospital to Sunder Lal Charitable Hospital, Ashok Vihar for free treatment but the hospital denied treatment on the pretext that the patient did not have BPL card.

Ashok Agarwal, a senior advocate and one of the members of the committee, says, “A BPL card is not required. There is a clear instruction to the hospitals to not to ask for any document from the patient. But hospitals use this to avoid admitting patients in the hospital.”

Agarwal says what is required that the monthly family income should not be more than Rs 6,422 and the patient or his or her relative has to simply declare it on the declaration form. And in case, a patient is referred to a private hospital for free treatment by a government hospital, the government hospital sends the declaration along with the patient.

Meanwhile at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in Rajinder Nagar, the Committee found that 65 EWS patients against 68 EWS beds were admitted. “The hospital is doing a good job for the EWS patients. We expect them to continue the work.”

Members of the committee visited few JJ clusters in the city and observed that people were unaware of the facility available in the private hospitals.

“It is the government’s duty to ensure people are informed about such facilities. It should also start a helpline through which patients can know about the availability of beds in the hospitals,” says Agarwal.

There are around 800 free beds in 43 private hospitals in the city for the benefit of the poor.



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