“With the new measure, Govt. is turning doctors from healers to dealers”
The Delhi Government has put off implementation of Value Added Tax (VAT) introduced for hospitals and nursing homes this past month following stiff protests by city doctors. The measure has been deferred till an empowered committee of the Delhi Government reviews the notification and various objections raised by doctors.
Delhi Medical Association president Dr. Harish Gupta said: “The notification from Trade and Revenue Department sent to various hospitals and nursing homes noted that these medical establishments were to register immediately under the Delhi VAT Act, 2005, and file their returns for the last six years beginning April, 2007. With this order the Government turned doctors, who have traditionally maintained the role of a healer, into dealers which is deplorable.”
He added that after the meeting with Delhi Health Minister A. K. Walia to complain about the ill-effects of the notification and take up other issues and problems faced by city physicians, doctors have also been assured that PC&PNDT registration and renewal process will also be streamlined and registration charges will be reduced.
“The Minister also assured us that all ad-hoc doctors will be regularised from the date of joining with associated promotion and pension benefits,” said Dr. Gupta.
Hospital food not same as restaurants
Asserting that doctors in various nursing homes and hospitals are providing medical services and that implantation of devices, providing drugs etc. are an inseparable part of the treatment, Delhi Medical Association state secretary Dr. V. K. Kohli said: “Nursing homes and hospitals are not selling medicines, for which there are separate chemist shops which are already been registered under the VAT Act. Also diet and food supply in the hospitals are part of the treatment and cannot be compared with restaurant and food shops and hence should not be asked to register under VAT Act.”