Delhi’s five city hospitals ‘fined’ Rs 600 crore for spurning the poor
New Delhi, June 12: The Aam Aadmi Party government has ordered five top private hospitals in Delhi to deposit “unwarranted profits” of more than Rs 600 crore made by denying treatment to the poor.
The government order says Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, Max Super Specialty Hospital (Saket), Shanti Mukand Hospital, Dharamshila Cancer Hospital and Pushpawati Singhania Research Institute were allotted land at concessional rates on the condition that they treat the poor for free, but failed to do so.
“These hospitals did not abide by the conditions, hence action has been initiated against them,” said Dr Hem Prakash, additional director (EWS) of the Delhi government. Officials said further action would be taken if the hospitals failed to deposit the amount within a month. Dr Hem Prakash, additional director (EWS) of the Delhi government, said the demand for depositing Rs 600 crore follows notices sent to the hospitals to explain their failure to treat the needy .
Prakash did not rule out action against more hospitals . A total of 43 private hospitals in the capital have been given land at concessional rates and are obliged to set aside 10% of their in-patient department capacity and 25% of out-patient department capacity for free treatment of the poor.
Advocate Ashok Agarwal, a member of the high court appointed committee monitoring the matter, said most hospitals were allotted land between 1960 and 1990. “The recovery amount has been calculated from the date when the hospital became operational to March 22, 2007, when the high court passed final orders on a PIL demanding implementation of the provision of free treatment to poor and action against the erring hospitals,” he said.
Devki Devi Foundation (of which Max-Super Speciality Hospital in Saket is a unit) said, “We have received an order from DGHS, Government of NCT Delhi on 9th June. We believe the order is unfair to us, we stand fully committed in discharging all our obligations towards economically weaker sections (EWS). We are extremely serious towards fulfilling our obligations. While we study the order in detail, we will prefer an appeal against this order in the appropriate forum.”