A letter dispatched by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has agitated members of the Indian Medical Association (IMA), Pune branch. It has objected to the letter which was recently sent by PMC to hospitals in the city.
The letter alleges that the hospitals are holding patients at ransom and their relatives are asked to purchase expensive medicines. The patients are not given timely treatment.
In response to PMC’s letter, the IMA Pune has written a letter to PMC, which states that, patients are being exploited to pay the deposit at the time of admission, in private hospitals. If the deposits are not paid the hospitals refuse to treat the patients. The letter also appeals doctors to treat patient immediately and not to refuse treatment before the payment of the deposit.
Dr Prakash Marathe, president of IMA Pune, said, “There is no subsidy given by the state government for several major expenses which the hospital incurs. Hence, the cost of establishing and running a hospital has to be collected from the patients. It is observed that many patients do not pay their bills once they are treated.”
He added, “Emergencies which are perceived by patient’s relatives may not be a medical emergency and the bill which seems exorbitant may not be so. The circular sent by PMC has no legal support. The letter mentions words like exploitation of patients for deposits and we object the use of words which defame the medical profession.”
When contacted PMC officials were unavailable for the comment.