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Tech May Ensure Poor Get Charity Hospital Beds

The charity commissioner and the state’s free health insurance scheme will work together to ensure that the 10,000 charitable beds in trust-run hospitals across the state are optimally used for poor patients. There have been complaints in the past about how trust-run hospitals-many of them termed as five-star hospitals-fail to comply with the government rule to offer 10 percent of their beds for free to poor patients and another 20 percent at subsidized costs. The charity commissioner’s office oversees the implementation of this scheme. Many of the trust-run hospitals have also not got empaneled with state health schemes citing inadequate package rates. But this could change as the free health insurance schemes-the Center-funded Ayushman Bharat and state-funded Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Arogya Yojana-want the charity commissioner to utilize special software to monitor the use of charity beds.

Ayushman Bharat-Maharashtra in-charge Dr Sudhakar Shinde, who also oversees Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Arogya Yojana, and charity commissioner Shivkumar Dige met to discuss how they could work together. Dr Shinde said, “We have robust software that could help the charity commissioner’s office monitor availability of beds and treatment of patients availing of charitable beds on a daily basis.” His office will also place the scheme’s arogya mitras at the charity hospitals. – TOI