Panel to ensure free treatment for poor

This comes after the state government learnt that most private hospitals do not follow the rules of providing 10 per cent of charitable beds to patients who are below the poverty line

Swapnil MishraUpdated: Saturday, September 03, 2022, 10:19 AM IST
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Navi Mumbai: Soon, a committee of medical experts will be formed to ensure that 10 per cent of charity beds available at the charitable hospitals are allotted for the needy patients.

This comes after the state government learnt that most private hospitals do not follow the rules of providing 10 per cent of charitable beds to patients who are below the poverty line.

The Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER) and Charity Commissioner will also be a part of this committee. There are more than 400 charitable hospitals in the state out of which 74 private hospitals come under the Charity Commission.

They are bound to reserve 20 per cent of the beds for poor patients, who can avail treatment free of cost in these hospitals. Jaslok, Breach Candy, Bombay Hospital, Lilavati, Nanavati, Hinduja and Saifee Hospitals come under this category.

Senior officials from the state government said there were several complaints from patients that they have not been allotted beds at charitable hospitals.

“We are setting up an expert doctors committee who will be making a policy or finding a way which helps needy patients to get beds at charitable hospitals. Sir JJ Hospital will be the nodal point of the committee in Mumbai which will allot the needy charitable beds in hospitals like Jaslok, and Hinduja,” he said.

Patients will have to follow certain terms and conditions to avail the benefit. The annual income limit for a poor patient is Rs 85 thousand. The limit for patients from weaker sections has been set at Rs 1.8 lakh.

It was mandatory for the administration of charitable hospitals to report periodically to the Charity Commissioners the number of beds available for both indigenous and indigent patients. However, some hospitals do not comply.

Accordingly, it is mandatory to reserve 20 per cent of the total beds for patients below poverty line, 10 per cent of which will be reserved for poor patients to be treated completely free. The other 10 per cent poor patients should be treated at 50 per cent charge.

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