The state government has cracked the whip on charitable hospitals for not complying with norms on reserving beds for the poor.
Apart from installing software in the hospitals’ systems to monitor bed occupation every day, the government also has decided to appoint a facilitator to help patients get admitted to the hospitals.
The state government had served show cause notices to nearly 40 charitable hospitals in the city for various violations; 31 of them were found to be guilty of violating the norms related to the reservation of beds under the Bombay Public Trust Act. The act makes it compulsory to reserve 10% of the beds for the free treatment of the patients below poverty line and another 10% for the treatment of the patients with an annual income of less than Rs 1 lakh at a concessional rate.
Most of the 31 hospitals did not respond to the notices served by the government a few weeks ago. Only 12 hospital managements responded, saying they would comply with the norms.
“The new software will help us monitor the status of the occupancy of beds. It will have information about the patients, proof of identity submitted by him, their income and line of treatment offered,” said Suresh Shetty, public health minister.
The minister said his department also has decided to appoint facilitators in 20 major hospitals in the first phase, who will ensure that the patients are not made to pay for supplementary services such as medicines and meals, an official from the department said.
The government has also asked the income tax, sales tax departments and the BMC for details of the concessions and tax rebates sought by these hospitals. “The hospitals get up to 300% FSI for the hospital buildings along with concessions in import duty of medical equipment, electricity and water supply and tax rebates. But the norms for the treatment of are never followed,” the official added.