Jipmer not to insist on BPL ration cards from patients for accessing free treatment

In an amendment to its earlier order, Jipmer will not insist on BPL ration cards from patients for accessing free treatment and services from October 1.

In a modified order superseding its earlier circular, Jipmer stated that there would be “no insistence of BPL card production for registration of a patient by the Medical Records Department”.

“This will be purely voluntary. However, patients shall be encouraged to do so for their convenience”.

Free treatment in OPD, including issue of drugs and routine investigations for all patients irrespective of income, as is the practice, will continue, the new circular said. Emergency treatment too will continue to be provided to patients irrespective of income. Patients admitted to general wards will also not be charged for their stay regardless of income as is the current policy, Jipmer said.

Jipmer’s move to accept only BPL cardholders with monthly income less than ₹2,499 (the income limit prevailing in the Union Territory for the category) as criterion for accessing free services had led to an outcry from political parties for limiting access to free treatment. Lt. Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan had also asked the institution to put the circular on hold and maintain status quo.

Jipmer, though, had clarified that the proposal was only to streamline income proof documentation into a single entity and was a patient-friendly measure. Often, patients needing these services were forced to go back to their place of domicile to get income certificate because such certificates have a short validity. Moreover, the income limit for such benefits varies across States, leading to confusion whether a particular income is considered eligible for such specific treatments. This posed a lot of discomfort to the patients and their family members, and sometimes also led to delay in treatment, Jipmer had stated.

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Printable version | Oct 26, 2021 2:17:04 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/jipmer-not-to-insist-on-bpl-ration-cards-from-patients-for-accessing-free-treatment/article36704586.ece

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