PMC deprives poor of free medical facility in pvt hospitals

HospitalThe services are provided in some hospitals that have benefitted from additional floor space index for construction of their buildings. (File Photo)

The poor living in the jurisdiction of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) are being deprived of free medical facility available in select private hospitals. Reason: the civic body has failed to create awareness about free medical services for the poor in some hospitals that have benefitted from additional floor space index (FSI) for construction of their buildings.

In the past three years, only 170 patients have got free medical services through PMC facility while 28,400 should have benefitted going by the agreement with the private hospitals.

In reply to an RTI query by activist Vivek Velankar, PMC said it signs agreements with private hospitals that get additional FSI for construction of their buildings in lieu of reserved beds for poor patients.

"A total of 27 beds should be reserved every day in the four private hospitals that have got additional FSI for poor patients sent on recommendation of PMC. This means 9,800 patients should have benefitted every year from the facility. It is shocking that only 170 poor patients could avail themselves of the facility," said Velankar.

PMC gives 0.5 additional FSI to private hospitals and in return the hospitals are supposed to reserve 10 per cent beds for the urban poor. Four private hospitals have benefitted from this so far and they should have ensured a total of 27 beds every day for the free treatment of poor.

The information reveals that 68 poor patients benefitted in 2011-12, 64 in 2012-13 and 38 in 2013-14. "Citizens are unaware of the PMC facility, which is the main reason for less number of beneficiaries. The civic health department has failed to take the scheme to the public," he said.

Velankar said information boards should be put up in all civic hospitals, ward offices, civic headquarters and the private hospitals concerned. The flex board should also carry information on the persons eligible for availing facility and the procedure, he added.

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