The Haryana government has tightened the noose around top hospitals such as Medanta Medicity and Artemis and asked authorities to maintain separate records as well as set up dedicated counters for underprivileged patients who come to them for treatment.
These hospitals have also been asked to extend their services free of cost to the needy under the given norms and submit the data on a monthly basis.
The government also plans to issue directions to these hospitals to treat patients who have BPL (below poverty line) cards for free. Even people referred by any of the members of the specially constituted monitoring committee — HUDA administrator, district magistrate (who is also president of the District Red Cross Society), civil surgeon, nodal officer and HUDA estate officer — are eligible for free treatment.
Administrator of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) is chairperson of the committee. According to HUDA officials, hospitals which were allotted land by the body at concessional rates, are bound to treat underprivileged patients free of cost.
“There are a total of four such hospitals, including Medanta Medicity in Sector 38 and Artemis in Sector 51,” said HUDA administrator Nitin K Yadav. After receiving instructions from the chief HUDA administrator TC Gupta in May this year, Yadav had sought details from Medanta and Artemis on the free treatment they provide to the poor.
“In their response, these two hospitals produced figures running into crores of rupees which they claimed to have spent on the treatment of needy patients in the form of discounts and other benefits. However, we were not convinced with their reply as it did not confirm to our format of terms and conditions,” said Yadav.
Dr Naresh Trehan, renowned cardiologist and promoter of Medanta, claimed his team had been treating poor patients more than the required norms.
“On a daily basis, we have a long queue of poor patients who cannot afford even basic treatment but they are treated here free of cost. We incur huge expenditure on such patients, especially those who come from rural areas,” he said.