June 18, 2008

Private hospitals to cross-subsidise treatment cost

Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram today urged private hospitals to cross-subsidise treatment cost, saying government alone could not meet the requirement of poor patients.

"Private hospitals should cross-subsidise treatment cost notwithstanding the increase in the cost of equipments following rapid advancement in technology as government alone cannot meet the requirement of poor patients," Chidambaram said today.

With the advancement of technology, the cost of the treatment was bound to increase in tune with the Intellectual Property Rights, he said after launching the 'World's fastest and Asia's first 128 Slice Heart CT Scanner,' produced by Siemens, at private K G Hospital here.

Since the government alone could not provide treatment at low cost or free of charge, the private hospitals should come forward to cross-subsidise treatment, like banks lending money at different interest rates for different sectors, he said.

Meanwhile Chidambaram also lauded the presence of Siemens in the country, saying the company, which supplied the Rs.6.5 crore machine, was making a turnover of Rs.11,000 crore in India, which offered a vast market for engineering and service sectors.

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