Are city hospitals treating EWS patients? Surprise checks on cards

Health minister Satyendra Jain said the department will be checking treatment facilities provided and the profile of patients.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: March 17, 2015 3:18 am

The Health department will be conducting random checks to review if treatment norms for EWS (economically-weaker sections) are being followed by designated private hospitals in the city.

Health minister Satyendra Jain said the department will be checking treatment facilities provided and the profile of patients visiting the hospitals to ensure that only people who qualify for free treatment were seeking the facilities.

“We have received two types of complaints. The first is that private hospitals are refusing or delaying treatment, or are sometimes furnishing bills at the end of treatment on some pretext or the other. Secondly, there have been complaints of many people who are not from the EWS category claiming treatment benefits, by virtue of the self declaration form, without submitting any proper record,” Jain said.

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Under EWS guidelines, patients can submit self-declaration forms stating they are from the EWS category to seek treatment, with no requirement of any income certificate. Government officials are mandated to later verify their income levels.

Jain said that random checks will also be conducted by health officials to review the bed occupancy in the EWS category — particularly in surgical and critical care disciplines.

“We are getting complaints that hospitals are only taking easy cases which can be easily managed to show they are fulfilling bed occupancy under EWS guidelines. Patients in need of critical care are turned away citing a lack of beds. In the ICUs, beds are hardly available for EWS patients,” Jain said.

Jain also said that records from government hospitals showed that referrals of patients under the EWS category to designated private hospitals was also very poor.

“There is hardly 1-2 per cent referrals from government hospitals, among all the EWS patients treated in private hospitals. We will be evaluating all of these shortcomings since most poor patients go to government hospitals,” he said.

According to Supreme Court and Delhi High Court guidelines, hospitals built on land given by the government at nominal rates have to reserve 25 per cent of out-patient facilities and 10 per cent of in-patient facilities for EWS patients.

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