It’s been two months that 10% reservation for the poor came into effect at NMMC-Fortis Hospital but only five patients have been treated under the reservation so far. The reason is that patients who have gone to the hospital say no to being treated their because of the very high cost of treatment at the hospital. Unfortunately the confessions have been made by NMMC Health Committee Chairman who says that even today poor of the city are not being benefitted by the 10% reservation for them at Fortis. Patients fear to go to NMMC Fortis Hospital because the cost of treatment is very high. This is the reason why in the two months since the 10% reservation for the poor came into effect only 5 patients have been treated. When the number of patients should have been atleast 40. Unfortunately it is NMMC Health Committee Chairman Shivram Patil himself who informed us the numbers when we met him on the response the policy for the poor was getting. He goes on to explain that poor patients who were referred to the hospital for treatment are horrified when they are given bills running into several thousands and this high cost scares them away. Forget Super Specialty cases, even OPD patients cannot afford the high cost of treatment at NMMC Fortis. This means that unless the cost is re-worked the 10% reservation for the poor will be of no use to the poor. And these changes will happen only after three months time when the policy will come for review. For now, there are absolutely no benefits that the poor are getting even after giving half of the poor man’s hospital to Fortis. In Mumbai, MCGM run hospitals like KEM and Sion Hospital charge a little over Rs. 5000 to the poor for super specialty services inclusive of medicines and implants but in Navi Mumbai blame it in on the sad state of affairs, dead conscience of administration and apathy of corporators that even today – the poor man is still denied justice in their own hospital while Fortis continues to commercially exploit the poor man’s hospital for profit. Sana Warsia – NMTV News.
September 30, 2009