Days after the Delhi government slapped a fine of over Rs 600 crore on five private hospitals for not providing free-of-cost medicare to poor patients, Max Super Specialty Hospital-Saket on Sunday clarified that it had treated thousands of poor since its inception.
“We have treated thousands of Economically Weaker Section (EWS) patients every year and are extremely serious towards fulfilling the obligations,” said a statement from the hospital.
The Delhi government has asked five private hospitals, including Max Super Specialty, to deposit over Rs 600 crore for denying free-of-cost treatment to the poor patients, in contravention of the main condition in providing land at concessional rates to these hospitals.
The other hospitals accused of violating the land allotment terms are: Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, Shanti Mukand Hospital, Dharamshila Cancer Hospital, and Pushpawati Singhania Research Institute.
Other hospitals were not available for comments.
The Max hospital statement said the order was unfair to it, as it stood fully committed to discharging all the obligations towards Economically Weaker Sections of the society (EWS).
Hem Prakash, Additional Director (EWS) in the Health Department of the Delhi government, said these five hospitals were provided land at concessional rates between 1960 and 1990 on the condition that they will treat the poor free of cost.
The penalty has been imposed on the basis of a Delhi High Court order passed in 2007 on a public interest litigation seeking implementation of the provision of free treatment to the poor and action against the erring hospitals. The fine amount has been calculated accordingly, the official said.
The hospitals have been asked to pay the amount by July 9, failing which further action will be initiated against them.
The Max Super Specialty Hospital-Saket is run by the Devki Devi Foundation.