PUDUCHERRY: Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (Jipmer
) has clarified that its recent circular directing the patients
to produce the BPL
cards (ration cards) issued by their respective states to avail free treatment in the institute is aimed at making the hospital procedures 'more patient-friendly'.
"There has been some speculation in news media about a recent notice by the institute's hospital administration. The institute wishes to clarify that the notice is actually intended to make the hospital procedures more patient friendly. This is sought to be done by documenting the below poverty line status of new patients at one time; i.e., during the initial registration and recording the certificate details in the hospital system. This will allow patients who need prolonged treatment to avail of the services that need such certification uninterrupted and without having to go back to their native places repeatedly to get income certificates each time," said a release from Jipmer.
The institute receives many patients from distant areas for advanced and costly investigations, interventions and treatment.
"Some of these services are provided free of cost, as per government rules, only to those below poverty line. Currently, patients needing these services are often forced to go back to their place of domicile to get income certificate repeatedly - because such certificates have a short validity. Further, the income limit for such benefits varies across states, leading to confusion whether a particular income is considered as eligible for such specific treatments or not. This poses a lot of discomfort to the patients and their family members and sometimes also leads to delay in treatment," said the release.
The institute further clarified that presently almost all outpatient department (OPD
) patients are extended treatment free of cost including issue of drugs by pharmacy and the routine laboratory tests and X-rays and this shall continue.
"The present measure is only to facilitate treatment to the poor so that they can seamlessly access the most-sophisticated of inpatient treatment without need for any additional documentation. This measure would undoubtedly help the people immensely," said the release.