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Times Of India
03 July 2012

State plans legal action as private hospitals adopt ‘sick’ attitude

The state government plans to initiate action against private charitable hospitals which haven’t yet enlisted under the Rajiv Gandhi Jeevandayee Arogya Yojana scheme launched on Monday. Many private hospitals have rejected the price list fixed by the state.

Meant for the needy, the state has agreed to pay Rs 1.5 lakh for each patient’s treatment. Of 80 city hospitals which are supposed to be part of the scheme, presently only 14 hospitals are a part of it. Association of Hospitals – an umbrella body of private charitable hospitals in the city including Bombay Hospital, Breach Candy, Hinduja and Jaslok – has been negotiating for a better amount.

State Chief Secretary Jayant Banthia said the government has tried to hold negotiations with the association. "Our only option is to take legal action," said Banthia.

A senior health official said all charitable hospitals in the state have to be a part of the plan, failing which action will be taken under the Bombay Trust Act. Officials said the tariff was prepared in consultation with doctors from private and state-run hospitals and insurance firms. "We can consider cancelling tax exemption or penalise hospitals," said the official.

President of the hospitals’ association Dr Pramod Lele said hospitals were already implementing the Indigent Patient Fund scheme, as per the high court’s directive. "But it’s not financially viable for us to implement multiple schemes," said Dr Lele.

On Monday, a helpline set up by for this scheme, saw at least 4,000 people calling up, said K Venkatesh who heads the health plan.

The health scheme is meant for those with an annual family income below Rs 1 lakh. The state will pay a maximum amount of Rs 1.5 lakh to hospitals for treating a patient.

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