Charitable hospitals to share income with PMC
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Times of India
28 July 2012
By: TIMES NEWS NETWORK
Charitable hospitals in the city will now have to share a percentage of their annual income with the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) in proportion to the additional Floor Space Index (FSI) granted by the government. The PMC will utilize a share of the amount to pay the hospital bills of needy patients.
The proposal was approved by the City Improvement Committee (CIC) on Friday.
"Already hospitals are using one FSI and an additional 0.5 FSI granted by the state and the PMC. Now, the state has announced to augment the FSI by one. This means that hospitals are authorized to use 2.5 FSI. The additional FSI is granted to hospitals for treating poor patients. But majority of the hospitals only use the FSI, they don’t treat the poor. Hence, the PMC has come up with the new proposal," CIC chairman Chetan Tupe told TOI after the meeting.
Hospitals which use 2.5 FSI will have to pay 30% of their annual income to the PMC, while hospitals using 2 and 0.5 FSI will have to pay 20% and 10% of their annual income respectively. Basically, the permission for this extra FSI has been given to hospitals so that they reserve 10% beds for Below Poverty Line (BPL) patients.
The public benefit scheme was framed by the Bombay high court and its implementation started in September 2006. Under the scheme, all charitable hospitals have to earmark and reserve 10% beds for indigent patients and 10% beds for economically weaker section; treatment for indigent patients is to be free. Two per cent of the gross billing of paying patients should be put aside to create Indigent Patient Fund (IPF) under the scheme.
The city has 49 private charitable hospitals. They get additional FSI, concessions in water, power, customs, octroi duties and sales and income taxes.
"After receiving repeated complains against hospitals, the PMC has decided to ask them to pay a percentage of their income to the PMC. The PMC will directly pay bills for poor from this amount. So any poor patient can get him/her admitted to a charitable hospital and approach the PMC, which will pay for the patient," said Tupe.
Recently, an inspection of 11 private hospitals in the city by the joint charity commissioner revealed they had been violating norms and not extending the desired level of services to the needy. A few hospitals were found to be hiding their status as charitable hospitals, while medical administrators of some hospitals even asserted they were totally unaware about the scheme. While one hospital followed almost all the norms of the scheme, five others fell in line after the inspection. In the action that followed against the rest, three hospitals were served show–cause notices, while two had to face criminal cases for not making sufficient arrangement for poor patients despite a charitable trust status and availing of government concessions.
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