Ban on currency notes leaves some Mumbai patients without medicines
At least three people were turned away from a pharmacy in Andheri, Mumbai, as they did not have currency notes of smaller denomination to pay for the medicines.mumbai Updated: Nov 09, 2016 16:16 IST
At least three people were turned away from a pharmacy in Andheri, Mumbai, as they did not have currency notes of smaller denomination to pay for the medicines.
“We have refused three customers since morning. They had come to buy medicines for blood pressure and diabetes,” said the store keeper requesting anonymity.
While civic hospitals were permitted to accept the banned currency until November 11, many people consulting private hospitals faced long waits owing to widespread shortage of smaller denominations currency.
“In view of the hardship being caused to the large number of patients at private hospitals, we have made an urgent representation to the government that this exemption should apply equally, for payments, at private hospitals,” read a media statement issued by the Fortis Hospital. As of now, the hospital has been accepting cash payments of smaller denomination and payments through debit and credit cards, read the statement.
Similarly, Bhatia Hospital in Grant Road petitioned the Prime Minister’s office to extend the waiver given to public hospitals to charitable hospital like theirs as well. “Our patients completing their discharging procedure insist on paying cash as many of them don’t have credit/debit cards,” said Dr Rajeev Baudhankar, chief executive officer, Bhatia Hospital.
A large number of patients who belong to small towns outside Mumbai were worse hit, he said, adding, “They don’t have anything on them other than banned cash.”
Some hospitals, however, were unaffected as a majority of their transactions were cashless.
“We have pioneered ethical practices in health care and a majority of our collection is via cheque, demand draft, online bank transfer, etc. Our pharmacy invoicing is also linked to the room and procedure costs and billed in totality. We are certain that this will not have any bearing on our functioning at all,” says Dr Ramakanta Panda, vice-chairman and managing director with Asian Heart Institute at Bandra-Kurla Complex.