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Free treatment to poor in pvt hospitals: Odisha HC seeks ATR from Health dept

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, July 19:

The Orissa High Court has sought an action taken report (ATR) from the Odisha government on the implementation of the Supreme Court order for providing free treatment to poor patients in private hospitals and medical colleges, within two weeks.

A division bench of Justice A K Rath and Justice B R Sarangi while ruling out granting two months time to the Health department on Friday for submitting its report, directed the state government to file an affidavit along with all documents on the action taken within 15 days.

High CourtEarlier, the Court acting on a PIL filed by Rohan Mohanty, president, Odia Yuva Manch had asked the Health department to produce MoUs signed with all the private hospitals, which have been given land at subsidized rates or free of premium, and other necessary documents.

The Court in its subsequent hearing had sought a detailed report on action taken to enforce the guidelines on free treatment of poor in private hospitals and nursing homes.

Petitioner Mohanty had, in his petition, alleged that despite the apex court orders stipulating free treatment of poor patients, private hospitals in the state were violating the orders with impugnity.

The order calls for free treatment for 25 per cent of outdoor and 10 per cent of indoor patients for hospitals that have availed land from the government at subsidized rates.

The petitioner claimed that the state government has provided land to at least 39 private hospitals and nursing homes.

Mohanty has also alleged that  hospitals were openly flouting the order and refusing to admit poor patients, in some cases even turning them away from the out patient departments (OPDs).

Odisha government is yet to issue notification to enforce guidelines of the apex court though other states have done so in the matter, alleged Mohanty.

The petitioner, while pleading for ensuring availability of healthcare to all irrespective of social and financial status,  sought directions from the court for action against private hospitals for violating guidelines.