In a campaign initiated by the Maharashtra government, charitable hospitals will examine and treat people staying on footpath and poor people living in unhygienic conditions in slum areas in Mumbai on November 4. The drive, called ‘Charitable hospitals at the door step of poor patients’, is being conducted to offer quality medicare to poor patients, an official said. “Patients in need of hospitalisation will be admitted immediately in the hospital under the drive, initiated by the State Charity Commissioner Shivkumar Dige, who observed that poor people are deprived of medical facilities,” an official in the State Charity Commissioner’s office told PTI.
This drive follows several complaints from people’s representatives that these hospitals do not reserve all the stipulated 20 per cent beds for indigent and weaker section patients, irrespective of directions given by the High Court, the official said. “This drive is being conducted to create an awareness about this facility and as a social bonding. There are 74 trust hospitals in Mumbai, but poor people living on streets and residing in slums in unhygienic conditions and suffering from various ailments, do not avail medical treatment there,” the official said.
Last month, Dige convened a meeting with the trust hospital authorities and appealed them to examine and treat poor patients on footpath and in slum areas, he said. When contacted, Dige said all charitable hospitals readily agreed to implement this drive in his first meeting with them. Two more meetings were held to ensure effective implementation of the drive, he added. “It was decided in the meetings that the hospitals having a capacity of over 100 beds would treat the patients on road by deploying three ambulances, and those having more than 50 beds will deploy two ambulances.
“Those with less than 50 beds will deploy an ambulance, equipped with necessary equipment required for examination and treatment of the patients. Each ambulance will have a doctor, nurse and a medical social worker,” Dige said.