Govt seeks clarity on pvt hospitals' profit

Asks HC how to calculate money made by refusing poor patients

Delhi government has sought detailed guidelines from the High Court for implementing its orders of assessing profits generated by the private hospitals by discouraging poor patients from availing their facilities.

On March 22, 2007, the HC had passed an order directing the government that with the help of a committee it should ascertain the profits that certain private hospitals have accrued in the city by denying mandated free treatment to poor patients. The government has asked the HC to issue directions about the date from which the profits can be calculated.

It is to be noted that when private hospitals came up on a land leased out by the Delhi Development Authority or Land and Development Organisation at cheap rates, they were asked to reserve a particular percentage of services for the poor.

Initially the percentages differed, which now stand at 25 per cent of outpatient services and 10 per cent of inpatient services. The hospitals were also to be made functional within two years from the date of taking possession of the plots.

Referring to another order by the HC, passed in 2002, the 2007 order said the money that the private hospitals made by not providing the mandated services, should be collected by the government.

The government was supposed to form a corpus fund out of the money collected and channelise it for the “welfare, healthcare and treatment of the poorer sections of the society.”  The application by the Directorate of Health Services said  from the judgement it appears that certain hospitals will be liable from 2007, whereas another set of hospitals shall be liable from the date they became functional.

It asked the HC to give clearer direction vis-a-vis the date from which each hospital’s profits should be analysed. Chartered accountants looking into the matter have also asked for the guidelines.

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