With the private hospitals and nursing homes in the State not abiding by the Supreme Court order for free treatment of poor patients, demand for Government action to ensure its implementation has gained momentum.
In a memorandum submitted to Chief Secretary BK Patnaik, city-based Odisha Yuva Manch has called for a notification for implementation of the order stipulating free treatment to 25 per cent of outdoor and 10 per cent of indoor patients in private hospitals and nursing homes.
The apex court in a judgment on September 1, 2011, had ruled for free treatment to patients belonging to BPL category, AAY card holders and those having monthly income less than minimum wages of an unskilled worker by private hospitals which have been allotted land by the Government. There are more than 39 private hospitals and nursing homes in Bhubaneswar that have been allotted land on subsidised rate by the Government.
“Despite a lapse of a year and half, the ailing poor are still being deprived of the facility at private hospitals and nursing homes. Responding to our RTI application, the Health and Family Welfare Department has admitted that it has not yet issued any notification for implementation of the order,” president of OYM Rohan Kumar Mohanty said.
The Health Department in July last year had asked the private hospitals to provide free treatment to the patients as per the order of the Supreme Court. Irrespective of whether they have availed Government land on concession rates or not, all private hospitals will have to abide by the norms, the then Health Minister Prasanna Acharya had asserted while stating that detailed guidelines would be issued soon. However, the guidelines are yet to see the light of the day.