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Expert committee submits report on charitable hospitals

Written by: Staff
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Mumbai, Apr 26 (UNI) The Bombay High Court-appointed expert committee, which was constituted to probe into allegations regarding violation of norms by charitable trust hospitals, has submitted its report.

The committee was constituted in October last year by a division bench comprising justices Kshitij Vyas and Dhananjay Chandrachud following a public interest litigation filed by Sanjeev Punalekar who had alleged that these hospitals, which are required to provide free treatment to indigent patients, were not doing so despite receiving several concessions and exemptions from the government.

The committee has recommended that 10 per cent of the beds in such hospitals should be for indigent patients and another 10 per cent for the weaker sections of the populace.

Indigent patients are to be provided treatment absolutely free while patients from the weaker sections have to bear 50 per cent of the bill which is to be calculated on lowest class rates.

Two per cent of the total income earned by such hospitals have to be credited to a specially created fund called the ''Poor Patients Fund (PPF)'' and the amount of bill that worked out for the indigent patients and the unpaid half of the bill of patients from weaker sections had to be debited from this fund.

The entire process would be monitored on a monthly basis by the committee and charitable hospitals will have to submit their reports to it.

There were about 319 charitable hospitals in Maharashtra. Some of these hospitals receive funds and donations which, the committee has recommended, should be credited to the PPF.

The Charity Commissioner of Maharashtra was appointed as chairman of the expert committee and its other members included the director of health services, director of medical education and research, joint secretary of law and judiciary department, deputy secretary of finance, dean of KEM Hospital, two representatives of the Association of Hospitals, one hospital finance expert, the dean of Wadia Hospital, and an independent doctor.

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