Health Minister Satyendra Jain launched an offensive on private hospitals for “not being honest in filling beds meant for patients from the economically weaker sections (EWS)”. The government will deploy officials in private hospitals to ensure that EWS patients get admission and free treatment.
Jain said Delhi has 41 such hospitals and a total of 623 beds kept aside for EWS patients.
In addition to this, 239 beds have been kept aside for EWS patients at Indraprastha Apollo hospital, the minister said.
“We got a new hospital of 239 beds, and that too one like Apollo, for EWS patients. Now we have a total 862 beds for EWS patients in private hospitals,” Jain said.
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“The beds at Indraprastha Apollo came about through an order by the Supreme Court. But the occupancy of these beds has been poor. The reason for this is the unavailability of medicines and the fact that EWS patients have to buy their own medicines. We will give them subsidised medicines at Apollo.”
To ensure that patients are not turned away by private hospitals, they have to first approach a government hospital from where they will be referred to private hospitals.
“We have seen that occupancy levels are below than 50 per cent in these hospitals. We have made a new scheme, by which we will refer patients from government hospitals. Nearly 25 per cent of cases at the out-patient department can be referred to private hospitals. We will seek a report from hospitals where the EWS occupancy is below 80 per cent and appoint counsellors for it. For every 10 patients, there will be a government official monitoring the implementation of EWS quota in private hospitals,” Jain said.
Recruitment of patient welfare officers — a post which had been discontinued by the Delhi government — will start again. “Approximately, 85 such officers will be recruited,” he said.
Two hospitals violating guideline on EWS patients: UD minister tells Lok Sabha
The Ministry of Urban Development in a response to a question in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday said of the six hospitals, which have been allotted land on pre-determined or concessional rates by the Land and Development Office (L&DO), St Stephens Hospital and Moolchand Khairati Ram Hospital have been found violating the guidelines issued by the L&DO with regard to providing free treatment to patients from the economically weaker section (EWS).
The Ministry said the government is taking “legal action” against these hospitals. “There are a number of occasions when the school or educational institutions which have been allotted land by the L&DO have violated the conditions of the allotment. However, as and when any violation comes to notice, appropriate actions under allotment or lease terms are initiated against defaulters, which includes issue of showcause notices, breach notices and recovery of government dues against such breaches, cancellation of allotment or re-entry of premises,” Babul Supriyo, Minister of State for Urban Development said in response to a question by MPs Ranjan Ben Bhatt, Anil Shirole and Prof Saugata Roy.