Beds for poor not utilised in pvt hospitals

 Even though patients find it difficult to find beds in government hospitals due to overcrowding, several beds reserved for the poor are not being utilised in private hospitals.

Patients belonging to the economically weaker section (EWS) can claim free treatment at 43 identified private hospitals in the city.

These hospitals have 10 per cent quota for indoor patient department and 25 per cent quota for outdoor patient department. 

However, the real-time data on Sunday evening showed several such beds were left unoccupied in these private hospitals.

In some hospitals, the number of vacant beds ranged between 11-33. “Several patients are denied treatment by these hospitals which claim there are no free beds. I have received several cases in which the patients have been admitted, but the hospital has denied free medicines or diagnostic services,” said Ashok Agarwal, Member, EWS Monitoring Committee.

However, poor utilisation of such beds is also because the government hospitals fail to effectively monitor the situation.

While patients can avail the service on their own too, the services are better utilised when government hospitals divert patient load taking the coordination upon themselves.

“The hospitals are faring better than before,” said Dr R N Das, a senior official of the Directorate of Health Services (DHS).

The health department had earlier appointed patient welfare officers (PWOs) to encourage full utilisation of the beds reserved for the poor in private hospitals. It was, however, a pilot project.

Data on beds

According to the real-time data on Sunday at 7.15 pm, Batra Hospital had 33 beds vacant,  Dharamshila Hospital had 17 vacant beds, Shanti Mukund had 11 beds lying unoccupied, B L Kapoor Memorial Hospital had 40 such beds, Bensups had 11 beds and Max Balaji 24 beds under the quota lying vacant, among other hospitals.

Another contention of the private hospitals has been the government hospitals do not refer enough patients for the utilisation of services.

“Some of these hospitals like Batra, Bensups, Shanti Mukund, B L Kapoor Memorial, Dharamshila are regular defaulters,” said Agarwal.

According to a senior health official, Shanti Mukund was issued a showcause notice by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) for turning away poor patients.

Only the land allotment agency can take the final call on cancelling the lease deed or issuing a show cause notice to the private hospital if it is not treating patients belonging to the economically weaker section category.
DH News Service

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