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  Metros   Mumbai  20 Mar 2018  Revise hospital scheme for poor: Bombay HC to Maharashtra

Revise hospital scheme for poor: Bombay HC to Maharashtra

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Mar 20, 2018, 4:49 am IST
Updated : Mar 20, 2018, 4:49 am IST

The hospitals prayed for revision of the scheme, as they were unable to properly implement the scheme.

Bombay high court
 Bombay high court

Mumbai: The Bombay high court has asked the state to revise a scheme meant for poor and persons that is being implemented by hospitals run by charitable trusts. 

The court issued the directions after the petitioning hospitals complained that the free treatment it provides to two per cent of patients under the scheme is being misused by politicians who recommend patients to the hospitals. The hospitals claimed that in the absence of a proper mechanism to identify eligible patients, the deserving persons had to be turned away. 

The hospitals prayed for revision of the scheme, as they were unable to properly implement the scheme. 

A division bench of justices Naresh Patil and G.S. Kulkarni was hearing a writ petition filed by Association of Hospitals that consists of hospitals run by charitable trusts which claim that the Indigent Person’s Fund (IPF) scheme it was implementing under the Maharashtra Pubic Trust (MPT) Act since the past 15 years, had become difficult to implement and hence sought directions from the state to revise the scheme. 

While making submissions on behalf of the hospitals, senior advocate Sudeep Gowalkar said that while they were bound to provide free treatment to poor patients, the hospitals were finding it increasingly difficult to sustain the scheme as the costs involved were much higher than the amount they set aside under the scheme for free treatment. 

He also pointed out the interference of politicians who recommended patients, some of who needed heart or liver transplantation, which exhausted the entire fund reserved under the IPF scheme. The hospital said that some patients recommended by politicians did not even belong to the beneficiary class. Hence a system needed to be evolved to screen applications to ensure that only the deserving persons benefit from it. 

After hearing the submissions, the court agreed with the arguements of the hospitals and asked the state why the scheme was not revised even after 15 years of it being implemented. The court further observed that while the charitable trusts were bound to abide by the scheme, the state too had a responsibility towards the poor and indigent citizens. 

Tags: bombay high court, politicians, maharashtra pubic trust, indigent person’s fund, naresh patil