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Jaya Shroff Bhalla, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, December 19, 2012
The Delhi government has sent notices to 34 private hospitals for failing to provide free treatment to poor patients in Delhi. "Ten hospitals whose free IPD (In-patient department) achievement was less than 3.3% in the month of October were also issued notices on November 1 by the Delhi government," said Ghulam Nabi Azad, Union health minister.

“We are trying our best to keep a check on erring private hospitals. If they do not mend their ways then the government will be forced to take legal action,” he said.

The Directorate of Health Services under Delhi government has sent contempt notices to 10 hospitals —Fortis group of hospitals (3), Max Devki Devi hospital, G.M. Modi hospital, Rockland hospital, Primus hospital, Bensups, VIMHANS and Dharamshila Cancer.

Azad said the private hospitals have been asked to explain why proceedings of contempt of court may not be initiated against them.

In March 2007, the Delhi High Court had ordered that all the 38 hospitals built on land granted by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) or the Land and Development Office provide free treatment to the patients.

The Union health minister said of the 43 identified private hospitals , 34 have not been treating the poor for free. 

The minister denied that any such data against top hospitals of the country is maintained centrally as health is a state subject.