Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, July 27:
At long last the Odisha government has implemented the directives of the Supreme Court of India vis-à-vis mandatory free treatment of 25 percent patients from the BPL category in hospitals and nursing homes in the state that have availed land for free or at a concessional rate from the state government.
The notification dated 24 July, 2014 has laid down its terms and conditions. Clause (1) says “25% of the out patients department (OPD) and 10% of the inpatients, belonging to the BPL category must be provided with free treatment”.
Likewise clause (2) says “They are to submit monthly return of the above in the enclosed format to the DMET Odisha/DHS (O) as the case may be positively by the 10th of every month”.
The clause (3) of the notification has penal provisions for violations. It says “If any hospital/nursing home fails to comply with the above stipulations the same shall be viewed seriously and action as deemed proper will be initiated for cancellation of NOC as well as allotment of land”.
The fourth and final clause of the terms and conditions laid down in the notification says “All those hospitals shall display regarding free medical facilities provided in both English and Odia language in a most prominent place of the hospital for viewing of public and patients”.
The government has directed the hospital and nursing homes to treat all types of patients from the BPL category and not just those with common ailments.
Principal secretary of Health, Pradipta Kumar Mohapatra told reporters “What is most important is that these hospitals and nursing homes have to treat BPL patients with different ailments and not just common ailments and get away with the claim of having achieved the target. They have to achieve targets in all categories of treatment- be it heart surgery or liver transplant. We want to make it very clear that in every category of treatment they have to achieve targets. They have to maintain that percentage in all categories of treatment”.
In bhubaneswar alonr there are as many as 44 hospitals and nursing homes that have availed land from the government for free or at a concession.
Notably, the Orissa High Court had sought an action taken report (ATR) from the Odisha government a few days back on the implementation of the Supreme Court order for providing free treatment to poor patients in private hospitals and medical colleges which have availed land from the government at subsidized rates, within two weeks.
A division bench of Justice A K Rath and Justice B R Sarangi while adjudicating a petition filed by Rohan Mohanty, president, Odia Yuva Manch in this regard had ruled out granting two months time to the Health department for submitting its report and had directed the state government to file an affidavit along with all documents on the action taken within 15 days.