By: Pune Pulse
November 14, 2023
Pune: Charitable hospitals that are registered under Public Charitable Trusts and have an annual expenditure of more than five lakh rupees are required to offer subsidized treatment to impoverished patients and free treatment to destitute patients.
Joint Charity Commissioner Sudhir Kumar Bukke has issued a strong warning, emphasizing that any charitable hospitals found to be in violation of these regulations will face consequences.
Hospitals that are registered under Public Charitable Trusts, in accordance with The Maharashtra Public Trusts Act, 1950, have a legal obligation to offer medical care to impoverished patients. In a 2004 ruling, the Bombay High Court reaffirmed this responsibility by instructing charitable hospitals to allocate 10 percent of their total beds for free treatment of economically disadvantaged individuals and an additional 10 percent for subsidized treatment of the weaker sections of society.
Charitable hospitals that are found to be in violation of these regulations will be subject to fines, and it has been recommended that the government withdraw exemptions from the public administration fund contribution for these hospitals starting from the next fiscal year. The Office of the Charity Commissioner will compile a report and provide advice to the Maharashtra State Government on how to recover the contribution amount that is owed to the Public Trust Administration Fund.
Furthermore, other privileges and benefits granted to these hospitals may also be revoked. Individuals from economically disadvantaged backgrounds are encouraged to seek medical treatment at charitable hospitals that are listed in the district. In the event that a hospital refuses to provide treatment, patients have the option to file a complaint with both the Hospital Superintendent and the Inspector of the Charity Office, which will prompt the necessary actions to be taken against such hospitals.
Sudhir Kumar Bukke, the Joint Charity Commissioner, has stressed the importance of charitable hospitals adhering to regulations concerning patient treatment. He emphasized that in cases of emergency, charitable hospitals must admit the patient promptly and ensure that all necessary medical facilities are provided until the patient’s condition stabilizes.
Additionally, if necessary, these hospitals should arrange for transportation to a public hospital for further treatment. It is crucial that charitable hospitals refrain from requesting any deposit upon admission of emergency patients.