Circular worries medical institutes

Government hospitals, last hope for the poor, may have to hike user charges

The Union Finance Ministry’s circular to all centrally-funded autonomous institutions asking them to generate 30% of the additional financial impact incurred on implementing the 7th Pay Commission has left healthcare institutions wondering how they would do it without burdening patients. Most institutions have now written to the Union Finance Ministry’s Department of Expenditure explaining the difficulty.

The circular, issued on January 13, will impact nearly 600 autonomous bodies in the country, including major hospitals such as the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER) and the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuroscience (NIMHANS), apart from around 200 commodity bodies, an equal number of research organisations and educational institutions, including the Kendriya Vidyalayas and Navodaya Vidyalayas. The worst affected are hospitals for whom it may be inevitable to hike patient user charges if they have to generate the funds.

In NIMHANS, the country’s premier mental health organisation, which has close to 800 employees including 200 faculty members, nearly Rs. 165 crore of the total Rs. 370 crore annual government grant is spent on salaries and other employee benefits. Although there are no figures available on the additional financial impact of the 7th Pay Commission’s recommendations, sources said it would be a difficult task to generate 30% of the additional requirement. NIMHANS collects over Rs. 20 crore every year as user charges of Rs. 20 per patient.

— source

This is the real fascism. A democratic govt controlled by few merchants.


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