Three charitable hospitals face action for not following norms

Oct 31 2013, 01:54 IST
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SummaryThree city-based charitable hospitals have come under fire from the Charity Commission of Maharashtra for not complying with the Bombay High Court guidelines regarding reservation of services for the poor.

Three city-based charitable hospitals have come under fire from the Charity Commission of Maharashtra for not complying with the Bombay High Court guidelines regarding reservation of services for the poor. The Charity Commissioner V K Jadhav’s office has written to the state Law and Judiciary department, asking it to revoke the various state as well as Central government grants and subsidies given to P D Hinduja Hospital (Mahim), BSES MG Hospital (Andheri) and Holy Family Hospital (Bandra).

State Health Minister Suresh Shetty said after the first round of inspections in January, of the 79 charitable hospitals registered with the Charity Commissioner in Mumbai, only 11 were found to be complying with all the eight conditions laid down by the HC.

“Show-cause notices were sent to the rest asking them to comply. Simultaneously, the inspection committee was quantifying all the government subsidies availed by these charitable hospitals. Even after sending the notices, three have still not complied,” said Shetty.

“The law and judiciary department will give further instructions to other departments to revoke concessions given by them. For example, revenue department for land concessions,” said the official.

Hospitals run by trusts registered with the charity commissioner with annual expenditures exceeding Rs 5 lakh are termed charitable. As many as 79 charitable hospitals have availed of benefits such as government or municipal land and electricity at subsidised rates,

concessions on import duty and

income tax.

In return, they have to reserve 10 per cent of sanctioned operational beds for indigent patients (those with income less than Rs 50,000 per annum) and provide them services free-of-cost, reserve an additional 10 per cent for economically weaker sections (family income between Rs 50,000 and Rs 1 lakh) and bill them the lowest for billable items.

Following the first inspection, many hospitals were found submitting forged bills for surgeries not performed, others were found catering to relatives of staff or to a particular community and calling

it charity.

Hinduja hospital had not opened the Indigent Patients’ Fund (IPF) account where two per cent of the total turnover has to be credited. At that time, Hinduja hospital had denied it, claiming that the services were reserved for the economically weaker sections. BSES MG hospital was found to be not charging the lowest rate on billable items to poor patients. Holy Family Hospital was charged with retrieving more money from IPF account than the amount actually spent on services reserved for the poor.

Vijay Gupta, director

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