Five pc service tax on small hospitals

Dr H Paramesh, president, Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association, said the service tax would invariably trickle down to the patients. “Nursing homes have wider network in the community and they serve more people. With this service tax, small hospitals will not be able to survive,” he said.

The hospitals and nursing homes would be squeezed not only by the government but also insurance companies. Wth the rising air pollution levels, it is necessary for hospitals to have air condition system, he added.

Echoing similar concerns, Dr Kishore of Cradle Hospital, said that the decision to levy service tax was unfortunate. Small hospitals had many other expenses and this tax was the last thing a small hospital required, he felt.

Dr Aravind Gubbi of Sahana Hospital said that instead of providing any aid to private hospitals, the government was now levying the service tax.

“We have been asking the government to waive off the luxury tax. Patients will have to bear the brunt as the insurance companies would not pay the tax. There may be opposition  from patients as most of the hospitals are planning to revise the charges by Tuesday,” he said.

Vishal Bali, CEO, Fortis Hospitals, felt that the tax would have a negative impact since it will increase the end cost to patients.

Expressing displeasure, Dr S C Nagendra Swamy of Manipal Hospital, said: “Preventive healthcare is of utmost importance for early detection of any communicable diseases. This scenario will now change with  health check coming under service tax.”

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