Most hospitals that have registered under the Companies Act will need to start serving the poor people if they have not been doing so. These are the comments made by Maharashtra minister of state for law and judiciary, Bhaskar Jadhav at the legislative council.
"Some hospitals get registration under the Bombay Public Trusts Act and avail facilities, including cheap land, from the government. Later they change their registration under the Companies Act. Once registered under this act, it is not mandatory for them to offer poor patients treatment free or at concessional rates. To stop this there is a need to amend the act," Mr Jadhav pointed out.
However healthcare activists feel that the government may not have enough powers to force private hospitals to amend their way of functioning. Mr Jadhav's statement came after the Shiv Sena's Deepak Sawant alleged that most private hospitals fabricate data indicating they served poor patients free of cost.
Mr Jadhav also promised that such hospitals would face harsh punishment.