The Delhi government announced on March 18 that poor patients will now get medicines at a subsidized rate at Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals. The health department will open a chemist shop in the hospital premises.
At a hospital located in Sarita Vihar, there is a 33% quota for poor patients in the inpatient department and 40% for those in the out-patient department.
Most of the beds under the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) category remain vacant because the poor patients were unable to afford expensive medicines and consumables. Only, 7 to 8 percent of the total reserved beds for the EWS were being utilized.
Satyendra Jain, State Health Minister, said, "Medicines and consumables will be cheaper for poor patients at this hospital by 80 percent. The remaining amount will be waived off for patients who cannot afford that amount. This will help full utilization of the free beds for poor. The scheme will be implemented with immediate effect for patients who earn below Rs 1 lakh in a year."
"There are also 623 beds in identified 41 private hospitals. To ensure at least 80 percent of the free beds are occupied, the government is now planning to post representatives in private hospitals. These representatives will send daily reports to the health department on the number of free beds lying vacant. For every 10 patients, there will be a government official monitoring the implementation of EWS quota in private hospitals," Jain said.
The government will recruit patient welfare officers (PWOs) in government hospitals for referring patients to private hospitals, to ensure that poor patients get necessary treatment.