Mumbai: Soon, BMC hospitals to show vacant beds at Jaslok, Lilavati
The project was started in JJ hospital two to three weeks ago, and by the end of December, it will be implemented in all other major civic hospitals too
Not getting treatment due to non-availability of beds at civic-run hospitals might become a thing of the past. Mumbaikars will soon be able to check at all major civic-run hospitals whether beds that are reserved for the less privileged are available at hospitals like Lilavati and Nanavati that are run under the Charity Commission. The project was started in JJ hospital two to three weeks ago, and by the end of December, it will be implemented in all other major civic hospitals too. Patients can see in real-time how many beds are available in as many as 74 Commission-run hospitals like Jaslok and Breach Candy.
Setting up TV screens
Idzes Kundan, additional commissioner (health), BMC, said, "In a move to relieve the pressure on tertiary care public hospitals like KEM, Sion, Nair and Cooper, the public health department has tied up with the Charity Commission to make use of their scheme for 'indigenous patients,' which is hardly utilised. We're going to set up TV screens at these [civic] hospitals, which will give real-time information about bed availability."
"It is a good initiative if it really gets implemented, but often such proposals are only real on paper. Through this process, major hospitals that always reel under the burden of patients can get some relief," said Dr Ravikanth Singh, a health activist. As per section 41AA of the Bombay Public Trust Act, city's charity-run hospitals are supposed to reserve 20 per cent of their beds for lesser privileged patients, and provide healthcare at a concessional rate. Mumbai has 74 such charitable hospitals who have to reserve 10 per cent beds for free treatment for patients with an annual income of less than R85,000, and offer 50 per cent concession to patients with an annual income of less than Rs 1.60 lakh per annum. Such hospitals get tax exemptions and other concessions by the state government.
Under the scheme, along with setting up TV screens at civic hospitals, BMC has also started the process to appoint an Officer on Special Duty (OSD) at all 74 hospitals to assist the patients coming from BMC-run hospitals. A few years ago, BMC had planned on starting this facility through a mobile application named HERO, but so far, it hasn't been implemented.
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