A commitee that was recently appointed by the state government to inspect certain private hospitals in the city has found that they are not following the Charity Commissioners condition of reserving a fixed percentage of beds for poor patients. Interestingly,these very hospitals had disagreed to implement the state governments insurance scheme called Rajiv Gandhi Jeevandayee Arogya Yojana (RGJAY),saying they cant be registered under both schemes.
As per the Bombay Public Charitable Trust Act,the registered hospitals are supposed to reserve 10 per cent of the total number of beds for patients below poverty line and also provide medicines at subsidised rates. However,after a survey of three private hospitals in South Mumbai,it was found that none of them were following the condition that they had committed to.
None of these hospitals had the required reservation for poor patients. Of the total patient load,barely two per cent of them were reserved for the poor. We are yet to evaluate four other hospitals and the report should will be submitted to the state government next month. Hospitals are meant to serve the needy and authorities need to ensure that those requiring treatment are not denied because of their socio-economic background, said Dr TP Lahane,dean of JJ Hospital,who was part of the three-member inspection committee.
Meanwhile,authorities of the RGJAY scheme are now trying to push these hospitals to incorporate the scheme.
Many of these hospitals had initially shown interest in implementing the RJAY scheme,however they eventually backtracked. We have been having continuous discussions with the hospital authorities and trying to find the possibility of implementing both schemes, said Dr K Vyanketesh,chief executive officer,RGJAY scheme. However,there also needs to be more awareness on the availability of the scheme. Poor patients should know they can avail themselves of free treatment when they get admitted to any of these hospitals, Vyanketesh added.
The pilot phase of the scheme starting this August will be carried out for a year. A total of 38 lakh health cards are to be issued in Amravati,Gadchiroli,Nanded,Solapur,Dhule,Raigad,Mumbai and its suburbs. The beneficiaries of the scheme will be holders of the yellow ration cards ( families below the poverty line) or orange ration cards (annual income of the family below Rs 1 lakh). They will be able to avail themselves of 972 medical procedures,including kidney transplants,all free of cost by producing the health card.