Sunday, December 11, 2011

Treatment denied

Private Hospitals reluctant to give free treatment to poor
Delhi Government constituted Monitoring Committee of which I am a member has inspected Maharaja Agarsen Hosital, Punjabi Bagh and Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Karol Bagh on Saturday 10.12.2011. At the time of inspection, only six EWS patients against 38 EWS beds were admitted in Maharaja Agarsen Hospital. All these six EWS patients were referred by the Government Hospitals. The Committee advised the hospital to appoint a social worker to increase the number of patients in the I.P.D. and O.P.D under free category. In Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, the Committee found that 65 EWS patients against 68 EWS beds were admitted. The Committee observed, "Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in general is doing a good job for the EWS patients and the Nodal Officer in particular is doing an excellent job. The Monitoring Committee expects that the good work is continued."

During the inspections, it has been observed that barring very few hospitals, all other hospitals are reluctant to provide free treatment to EWS patients. In one of the recent cases, 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 (BPL card is not a legal requirement. What required is that the family income should not more than Rs.6422/- per month and the patient or his or her relative has to simply declare it on the declaration form required to be supplied by the Hospital. In case, a patient is referred to private hospital for free treatment by a government hospital, the government hospital gets such declaration filled up and send it to private hospital along with the patient). Sunder Lal Hospital by denying free treatment to the patient has committed contempt of the Hon’ble High Court and a petition in this regard would be filed soon by the Social Jurist, A Civil Rights Group on whose petition the High Court issued directives for providing totally free treatment to the EWS patients by all the 43 identified private hospitals to the extent of 10 IPD & 25 % OPD. There are around 800 free beds in these 43 private hospitals with state of art facilities which need to be optimally utilized for the benefit of the poor of this country.
Ashok Agarwal, Advocate 

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