January 8, 2009 1:26:40 am
To help patients Below Poverty Line pay their medical bills in civic hospitals,the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has established a Deans Discretion Fund in KEM,Nair and Sion Hospitals. A total amount of Rs 5 crore will be available through this fund to help the patients Below Poverty Line from Mumbai.
Formation of the fund was approved by Municipal Commissioner Jairaj Phatak on Wednesday following a demand made by public health committee chairperson Shubhada Gudhekar. From April 1,an amount of Rs 3 crore will be allotted to KEM Hospital and Rs 1 crore each in Nair and Sion Hospitals. Although Gudhekar had demanded allotment of Rs 10 crore to KEM and Rs 5 crore each to Nair and Sion Hospitals,the civic administration has only approved a token sum of Rs 5 crore in total.
These civic hospitals till now had the facility of Poor Box Fund (PBF) where donations were collected to foot the bills of poor patients. However,the PBF could be used for patients residing in any part of the country and seeking treatment in civic hospitals. But the DDF will be strictly for poor people hailing and residing in Mumbai, Gudhekar said.
Additional Municipal Commissioner Kishore Gajbhiye said that it will be mandatory for the beneficiaries to produce their BPL card and proof of residence in the city.
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