Lost Charities

DDA tries to fix skewed priorities of Delhi hospitals

Published: Tuesday 15 March 2005

the Delhi Development Authority (dda) has of late been forced to adopt a stern stance towards charitable and trust hospitals, hindering their so called "infrastructure development" activities. In the garb of such activities, these hospitals have been trying to bypass the dda's lease terms agreed to at the time of land allotment. They are entering into management contracts with corporate groups to earn more money and evade the requirement of providing free treatment to poor people.

These hospitals had got their land free or at throwaway prices on the condition that they will offer 20 per cent of their capacity for free treatment. But in their rush for more profits, some of them have even tried to resell their alloted land. "This is the reason dda has stopped some hospitals, including Modi and Nirogi hospitals, from entering into any contract with the corporate groups," says a dda official.

Fortis and Max healthcare, both affiliated with pharma giant Ranbaxy, are the two big corporate players in this game. Jessa Ram Hospital in Karol Bagh, Delhi, recently entered into a management contract with Fortis Healthcare and became Fortis Jassa Ram Hospital. Max Healthcare entered into similar arrangements with Balaji hospital at Patparganj and Devki Devi Foundation at Saket. "Providing free treatment cannot solely meet the demands. Hence, these corporate groups are now getting into management contracts for the improvement of infrastructure so that patients can get adequate and timely treatment," claims Loraine Kalra, medical director, Fortis Jessa Ram Hospital. But the dda 's stand is firm. "There are nearly 25 hospitals in Delhi that have provision of free treatment in their lease terms. If they get into corporate hands and don't follow these terms, we will take them to court and get the law enforced," stresses R K Singh, commissioner (Land Disposal), dda.

In 2004, the Qureshi commission constituted by the Delhi High Court listed 14 Delhi hospitals for violating the agreement to provide free treatment.

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