Lucknow’s Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital to stop free medical services soon
Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital in Lucknow has announced that it will soon shut down all its free of cost medical aid and services. The move will also include the shut down of subsidised OPD consultation and provision of medicines as well. Notably, emergency services shall remain unaffected in the best interest of patients. Read on to know more about the reason of this free-service closure:
A new integrated system at RML Hospital
The Lohia Hospital and Lohia Institute in Lucknow had announced their merger in 2019 in a bid to create a super integrated system of imparting health care services and treatment in the city. The apex institute has also clarified then that it will be charging for its services in 2 years towards the goal of advanced provisions here.
As per the timeline, the step is due this year and once all systems and management software are updated, the free of cost services will be suspended. Infrastructure and manpower boost will also be required to implement this new system, said MS Dr Vikram Singh from RML Hospital. The entire upgrade will take some time. Until then, patients will continue to get free treatment under the old system.
Charges & fees to be levied at RML Hospital
Under the new system, all facilities including the OPD will come for a fee here. These charges will be levied by means of a card at the Outpatient Department of the hospital block by paying ₹100. This card will be valid for consultations for up to 6 months, sources said. The overall idea is to reduce the queue for getting a prescription made every 15 days - a system which is presently in operation here. These OPD cards will be applicable across all hospital departments, enabling faster and smoother services for all.
Besides, the cost of treatment, testing and OPD admission has been modified too. Patients will soon have to pay ₹250 per day to get a bed here. According to the hospital management, the charging of facilities will filter the rate of hospitalisations and admissions. OPD of Lohia Hospital receives around 1000 to 2000 patients a day, where around 400 beds were admitted for free. It will, albeit, add overhead costs for the needy and destitute, impacting the poor and middle classes as well.
This has raised concern among people, who have urged the management to rethink its decision. The trouble was highlighted by Shanti Devi from Barabanki who said, "My son has a stomach problem and we bring him here for treatment. Due to free services, there is no financial burden but if it stops, then we will be in trouble."
However, all hope is not lost. Patients who are unable to pay for their treatment may avail the benefits of the government's 'Asadhya Rog Scheme' at any state hospital. They will be provided with zero-cost facilities and aid under this provision, circumventing any system or procedure.
In addition to that, emergency services at Lohia Hospital will continue to remain free. It has been, however, detailed that a fee will be applicable if the patient is being shifted from the common emergency ward to a general ward.
Lohia's Maternal & Child Referral Hospital to provide zero cost treatment
Since the merger only includes the Lohia Hospital and Institute, the treatment at Lohia's Maternal and Child Referral Hospital in Arjun Ganj will be provided at zero cost. All pregnant women and those availing treatment for maternal and newborn health care under Janani Suraksha Yojana will continue to get free services.
Such patients will also receive ₹1000 if they hail from urban areas and ₹14000 for those who come from rural limits. As per reports, around 100 patients visit the OPD Department of the Women's Hospital, where blood tests, ultrasounds and other services are provided to pregnant women at no cost.