Trust-run private hospitals can’t turn away poor for want of residential proof | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Trust-run private hospitals can’t turn away poor for want of residential proof

The directive was issued by charity commissioner Shivkumar Dige on Friday

mumbai Updated: Dec 17, 2017 20:03 IST
Yesha Kotak
The decision has been well-received by hospitals and health experts, who believe that underprivileged should not be denied access to quality healthcare for want of documents.
The decision has been well-received by hospitals and health experts, who believe that underprivileged should not be denied access to quality healthcare for want of documents. (Representational photo/PTI)

The charity commissioner of Maharashtra, on Friday, issued a circular to hospitals run by private charitable trusts asking to admit underprivileged patients — especially orphans, homeless and migrants — even if they lack residential proof.

“I met a girl last Monday, who told me that orphans above the age of 18 faced difficulty in seeking treatment because they no longer stay in an orphanage and can’t submit residential proof,” said Shivkumar Dige, charity commissioner.

As per protocol, underprivileged patients are expected to submit a ration card, income certificate issued by tehsildar and BPL certificate (for patients below poverty line).

Dige added that homeless patients can submit a letter from theorphanage they belonged to. However, those unable to submit residential proof, can still be admitted to the hospital. Their identities would be ascertained later by social workers in the hospital.

Earlier this month, 430 private hospitals across Maharashtra treated 53,000 patients living in slums, tribal and remote. The initiative was part of a special drive by the charity commissioner.

The decision taken by Dige has been well-received by hospitals and health experts, who believe that underprivileged should not be denied access to quality healthcare for want of documents.

“The procedure of submitting documents wastes time, especially for those patients who have nobody to do their paperwork. So the decision taken by the charity commissioner is in the right direction,” said Niranjan Aher, Jan Jagriti Manch, an NGO.

Rajendra Patankar, chief operating officer, Nanavati Super Speciality Hospital, said all charitable hospitals are expected to abide by the directives issued by the charity commissioner.

“Consideringthe social context, patients will benefit once the order is enforced,” Patankar said.