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Govt cancels sops for pvt hospitals 

TIMES NEWS NETWORK 

Mumbai: The Maharashtra government has decided to withdraw all concessions granted to private hospitals registered under the Public Trust Act, because the hospitals were found to be not extending free or subsidised treatment to poor patients, as required under the rules. 
Brigadier (Retd) Joe Curian, chief spokesperson for the Association of Hospitals, described the government’s accusation as a “blatant lie’’. He added that the government had anyway withdrawn most of the concessions over a period of time, hence the decision made no difference to the hospitals. 
Dr K R Shetty, chairman of Cumballa Hill Hospital, said the government had already withdrawn octroi and other concessions. “Hospitals are now being charged commercial rates for the electricity they consume,’’ he added. The decision to withdraw the concessions—like land leases at nominal rates, floor space index and tax reliefs—was taken following a BombayHC direction on the issue, minister of state for law Hasan Mushrif declared in the council on Wednesday. 

Sops withdrawn on HC directive 


Private Hospitals Allege Unfair Targetting 


Mumbai: The state government has decided to withdraw concessions granted to private hospitals, because the hospitals were found to be not extending free or subsidised treatment to poor patients, as required under the rules. 
The decision was announced by minister of state for law Hasan Mushrif in the Maharashtra legislative council on Wednesday. 
Public health minister Vimal Mundada had told the house a couple of days earlier that the withdrawal of concessions was being considered. The matter came up before the house again on Wednesday when Mushrif was replying to a question from Shiv Sena members Deepak Sawant and others. 
Mushrif said the number of poor patients being treated by a hospital for free or at lower rates had to be 10% of the hospital’s capacity. However, the Bombay high court had found that private hospitals were not complying with the condition and directed that the concessions be withdrawn. Accordingly, the state was withdrawing the concessions, Mushrif said. 
However, Brigadier (Retd) Joe Curian, chief spokesperson for the Association of Hospitals, said that all private charitable hospitals had submitted records and accounts pertaining to the treatment given to poor patients to the charity commissioner. Hinduja Hospital alone spent Rs 6 crore annually on poor patients, he said. 
Dr K R Shetty, chairman of Cumballa Hill Hospital, said there were about 12,000 beds in Mumbai-Thane in government and civic hospitals and the authorities spend Rs 1,000 crore annually on them. Despite the huge budget, these hospitals provide substandard treatment and misuse money, which is why people go to private hospitals, he alleged. 
He said there were about 29,000 beds in the private sector, including nursing homes, which helps take a huge load off public health needs. It is unfair to target private hospitals, he said. 


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