State Govt Panel to Verify Records of Charitable Hosps
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14 April 2010
By Somit Sen
The state will set up a monitoring committee to check records of all charitable hospitals as Opposition benches allegedon Tuesday that some hospitals were ‘fabricating records’ and turning away poor patients. The issue was discussed in the state legislative council.
Sena legislator Deepak Sawant said, “I know of cases wherein hospitals have not been extending free/concessional treatment to the poor. Some hospitals have got themselves registered under The Companies Act and have stopped providing facilities to the poor.” Minister Bhaskar Jadhav, who gave a reply on behalf of the government, said charitable hospitals had spent Rs 152 cr to treat 19 lakh patients between September 1, 2006 and December 31, 2009.
“If the Opposition is alleging that the statistics provided by some of the hospitals are fudged, I will order an inquiry,” he said. According to him, the monitoring committee, comprising ministers and bureaucrats, would conduct a quarterly review and submit a report to the government.
He said the government was considering making it mandatory for hospitals registered under The Companies Act to provide free treatment to poor. Under the current scheme, those with an annual earning of less than Rs 25,000 can avail of free medical treatment while those earning up to Rs 50,000 a year can get concessions. Sawant said charitable hospitals received sops from the government such as land, electricity, water and duty exemptions for importing medical equipment.
“They should fulfil their obligation of rendering service to the poor. There should be stringent action against those who fail to do so,” he said. Jadhav said if it was proved that a hospital had turned away a poor patient, the government would deal with it sternly.
Jaslok CEO faces heat in House
The state legislative council had recently passed a breach of privilege motion against Jaslok Hospital CEO Manesh Masand for allegedmisconduct with a few legislators on two separate occasions. In January last year, he was accused of refusing to provide hospital records to a few legislators. The latter had visited the hospital to verify if Jaslok was providing free/concessional services to the poor and needy. After “offending” a Sena legislator on the hospital premises last week, the legislative council chairperson ordered that Masand should appear before the House and be given a stern warning.