Govt to raise issue of pvt hospitals denying treatment to poor

Azad said his Ministry was aware that people, especially those from economically weaker sections, were facing problems in getting treatment at private hospitals.

"A large number of complaints are pouring in that the poor people are not being treated to the extent the private hospitals are supposed to treat them. So we know about this and we would like to have a meeting again with them on the issue," the minister said.

Reacting to a television channel expose on leading private hospitals of Delhi purportedly violating rules by not providing treatment to the poor, Azad said he had knowledge of the issue.

The Delhi High Court on March 23, 2007 had directed all private hospitals to offer free treatment to poor patients at the rate of 10 per cent in the Indoor Patient Department and 25 per cent in the Outdoor Patient Department of their total respective treatment capacities.

The court had stated that private hospitals, which had been given land at a concession in Delhi, must not bill patients from families earning less than Rs 2,000 a month.

The Central Information Commission had also asked the Directorate of Health Services to disclose and upload details of patients being treated under the Economically Weaker Section category in private hospitals on their website on daily basis with effect from October 1 but there has been little progress on the issue.

Taking on the government on this issue, the BJP has demanded that a committee be formed to investigate the matter.

"A committee should be formed and this matter should be investigated. Why do people from Below Poverty Line category fail to get a bed in a big hospital and what should be done to ensure that they get the required treatment... this should be worked on", senior BJP leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy said.

He said many "undeserving" people get beds in such hospital using their political clout and the poor are left out.

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