Delhi government today issued show cause notices to ten private hospitals in the city for not complying with a court directive of providing free treatment to the poor patients.
Health Minister A K Walia said the hospitals have been asked to explain within seven days why contempt of court proceedings will not be initiated against them for not complying with the directions of the Supreme Court and the High Court.
All private hospitals, which were given government land at concessional rates, are required to reserve 25 per cent of their out-patient department capacity and 10 per cent of beds for free treatment of the poor.
Both the Supreme Court and the Delhi High Court had, in separate orders, directed the hospitals to comply with the norms. 43 private hospitals are required to comply with the directive.
Hospitals which have been issued notices are Escorts Heart Institute and Research Centre, Dharamshila Hospital and Research Centre, Max Super Specialty Hospital (Max Devki Devi Heart and Vascular Institute), Gujarmal Modi Hospital, Primus Super Specialty Hospital, Bensups Hhospital, R B Seth Jessa Ram Hospital, Rockland Hospital, Rajan Dhall Charitable Trust – Fortis Hospital and Vimhans Hospital.
"If they do not comply with the directive, contempt cases will be initiated against them," said Walia.
Delhi government had issued notices to 34 private hospitals in September for failing to comply with the court directives, out of which 24 have started providing free treatment to poor as per norms, said officials.
Walia said the 10 hospitals have failed to provide free treatment even to 3 per cent outdoor patient from economically weaker section. "Their indoor patient performance was found to be less than 3.3 per cent," he said.
A Monitoring Committee constituted by Delhi government inspects the private hospitals to monitor compliance of the court orders.
Officials said a total of 9,99,136 poor patients were treated in out-patient departments of the private hospitals while 24,207 patients were treated as indoor patients in 2011-12.
Any patient who is a citizen of the country and has a monthly family income less than the minimum wages of an unskilled worker (which is now Rs 7,254 is considered eligible to get free treatment in the private hospitals.
Patients carrying BPL or Antodaya Anna Yojna card are also eligible to get the free treatment.