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Prominent Mumbai hospitals asked to add ‘charitable’ to their names

Out of 78 Mumbai-based charitable hospitals, only four –Parvatibai Chauhan Charitable Trust at Kandivli, two centres of Jeevan Jyoti Charitable Trust at Santacruz and Kandivli – have the word “charitable” in their name

mumbai Updated: Jul 27, 2018 01:28 IST
Sadaguru Pandit 
Sadaguru Pandit 
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Lilavati hospital,Charity trust
The Charity Commissioner of Maharashtra issued an order directing Lilavati (in pic), Jaslok, Nanavati and Breach Candy hospitals to ensure “charitable” appears as a suffix in their names. (HT photo)

Private hospitals that are run by public charity trusts must add “charitable” to their names so that underprivileged patients know they have access to them. On Thursday, the Charity Commissioner of Maharashtra issued an order directing Lilavati, Jaslok, Nanavati and Breach Candy hospitals to ensure “charitable” appears as a suffix in their names.

“There are 10,000 beds in charity hospitals in Maharashtra and Mumbai alone has 1,738 beds reserved for poor patients. But it has come to our notice that most of these hospitals fail to treat as many poor patients. We suspect that since these hospitals don’t have the term ‘charitable’ in their name, poor patients shy away, being unsure if they will be able to avail the benefits of the state run scheme,” said Shivkumar Dighe, charity commissioner.

There are 430 charitable hospitals in Maharashtra. As per section 41AA of the Bombay Public Charitable Trust Act, charitable hospitals are legally obliged to reserve a fifth of the total number of operational beds for underprivileged patients, providing them with healthcare at concessional costs. Out of 78 Mumbai-based charitable hospitals, only four –Parvatibai Chauhan Charitable Trust at Kandivli, two centres of Jeevan Jyoti Charitable Trust at Santacruz and Kandivli – have the word “charitable” in their name.

“Most charitable hospitals have swanky buildings and if they sport the tag, poor patients won’t hesitate to avail free or concessional treatment at these hospitals. We will address the issues of the hospitals if they have any against the directive and ask them to implement the norm as soon as possible,” Dighe said.

Hospitals get tax exemptions and other concessions if they are run by charitable trusts. In return, they are supposed to provide subsidised treatment to poor patients. Patients with an annual income less than Rs 85,000 are eligible for free treatment. Those earning below Rs1.60 lakh receive a concession of 50%.

Representatives of 20 hospitals met Dighe and minister of state for home Ranjit Patil asking them to review the directive. “There are a lot of documentation and legal hassles in changing the name of the institution. Hence we requested the authorities to add the term ‘charitable trust’ in a bracket wherever the hospital name is displayed,” said V Ravishankar, CEO of Lilavati Hospital, which is run by the Lilavati Kirtilal Mehta Medical Trust.

The hospitals are expecting a revised directive to be issued next week.

“Till now only two or three hospitals received the physical copy of the notification so we will wait till everybody receives it and go through the details. There are some practical issues in changing the names,” said Dr PM Bhujang, president of Association of Hospitals, an association of charitable hospitals of Mumbai.

First Published: Jul 27, 2018 01:28 IST