Apollo a ‘profit-making’ venture for Delhi govt: RTI
It was a project conceived and registered to set up a multi-specialty hospital on ‘no profit no loss’ basis in partnership with a private partner to provide free health facilities for the poor but was recognised as profit making unit of the Delhi government with no place for the poor.
The private partner which managed 15 acre prime land in Sarita Vihar on a token money of Rs 1 and cornered Rs 38.66 crore from the public exchequer in 1994 refused free treatment to the poor and paying pittance as profit to the Delhi government.
In reply to an Right To Information (RTI) query, Directorate of Health Services (DHS) has accepted that the Delhi government has been getting dividends on its investment in the equity share capital of company from the financial year 2000-01. “The amount that was received in Financial Year 2014-15 was Rs 4.29 crore,” said the RTI reply signed by Suman Razda, Deputy Controller of Accounts, DHS, Delhi government on September 10.
The RTI also revealed that the government received Rs 15 crore since 2011-12 as profit, approximately amounting to Rs 3.81 crore in each financial year. “The Delhi government holds 26 per cent share in the hospital on the name of the President of India. The Board of Directors of the company had recommended a dividend of 18 per cent ie. Rs 1.80 per share for the financial year 2014-15,” added the RTI.
The reality of the ‘profit’ on investment that the Delhi government is getting could be assessed with the fact that in the same locality Fortis Escorts Heart Institute & Research Centre is liable to pay Rs 105.97 crore as fine till 2006-07 for not extending free treatment to EWS patients. Its important to mention that Fortis and all other identified private hospital were provided concessional lands but not at the rate of Rs 1 as token money. None of the other identified private hospitals was provided money from the government exchequer.
As per the final agreement between Delhi government and Apollo group, the multi-specialty hospital was to be run on ‘no profit, no loss’ basis and bound to provide one third of its total capacity of 600 beds to the poor completely free of cost.
“The hospital will also provide free of cost full medical, diagnostic and other necessary facilities to 40 per cent of the patients attending the Out-Patient Department of the hospital,” reads the agreement.
The hospital management never honoured the agreement. A judgment of the Delhi high court directing the hospital to honour the agreement and extend free services to the poor in 2009 is still pending in the Supreme Court.