NEW DELHI: September 02, 2011 – The 10 multispecialty private hospitals directed to treat poor patients free of cost have promised to abide by the Supreme Court order. However , they have also hinted at passing on the costs to paying patients. After the court announced its order on Thursday, the hospitals said poor patients will not be charged for medication, treatment, surgery, nursing , consumables and nonconsumables ; however, since their financial burden will go up they might need to increase charges for other patients.
As per the court order, private hospitals that have got land at concessional rates should reserve 25% of their out-patient department capacity and 10% of beds at the indoor level for free treatment of the poor. Hospitals charging such patients can face prosecution for contempt of court.
Dr DK Baluja, medical director of Jaipur Golden hospital, said, “We will abide by the court decision. To meet the financial burden caused by increased expenses in treating the poor patients we might increase charges for paying patients and undertake in-house cost cutting measures.”
Executive director of Dharamshila Cancer Hospital , Dr Suvarsha Khanna, said palliative care for cancer patients, which includes long-term chemotherapy and radiation treatment, costs several lakh rupees. “If everybody has to be treated with drugs and disposables for free, the hospital will not be able to sustain itself for long. We will not be able to add newer technology and the quality of our services might get affected,” she said. Read more