Hyderabad: The Apollo Hospital, a multi-specialty medicare institution, stands at the centre of Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad. A PIL lodged in the Telangana High Court said, that after acquiring land through a GO issued in 1981, a 1,000-bed hospital was built on 30 acres. The GO, Government Vide G.O.Ms.No.517 Revenue (Q) Department dated 26.03.1981, provided the hospital with the land at a cheaper price under the condition that it would be reserving 15 per cent of the beds for patients below the poverty line.

On the same condition, the hospital was also exempted under the Urban Land (Ceiling and Regulation) Act, 1976.

“The land on which the hospital is established costs nearly Rs 1,500 crore as per the present market value. However, the allotment of the land and exemption from ULC Act was given on specific condition that 15% of the beds in the hospital should be reserved for poor patients and they should be given free treatment,” the petition, filed on Wednesday August 5, reads.

The PIL was filed by civil activist and president of Confederate of Voluntary Association, Omim Maneckshaw Debara, and stated that the conditions under which the Apollo Hospital acquired land from the government were not being duly followed.

“It has been over 30 years since the hospital began treating people, and they have not made any reservations for the poor since the beginning,” Mr Debara said.

The hospital has also not established a system to ensure that 15% of the beds are indeed provided to patients below the poverty line. The petition further read that the successive governments have turned a blind eye to this violation and have made no efforts to verify that they are complying with orders that led to their construction.

Mr Debara further alleged that the hospital administration was also provided land in Delhi to build a hospital that reserves 33 per cent beds for the poor, and has failed to comply with those orders in the nation’s capital city as well.

Same is the condition with Basvatakaram Indo American Cancer Hospital & Research Institute, Road No 10, Banjara Hills, which was allotted 7.35 acres by the government. The hospital was given land under Government Vide G.O.Ms.No.434 Revenue (ASSSGN.III) Department dated 26.05.1989, on the condition that it would be reserving 25 per cent of the beds for the poor. It was also stated that the hospital would treat 40% of its out-patients free.

“The current market value of this land is Rs 400 crores. As per the information, the conditions of the allotment have not been followed since the inauguration of the hospital. There is no reservation for poor patients who are required to be given free treatment and the official respondents did not establish any system of ensuring the reservation of 25% beds. They are required to treat 40% of the out-patients free of cost but neither the hospital authorities nor the government have made any efforts to pass this information to the common man,” the petition read.

“We have further requested the court to take action on the non-compliance of rules by these hospitals, and direct them to reserve 50% of their beds for the poor, and 50% for Covid positive patients,” Mr Debara said.

Priyali Dhingra

Priyali Dhingra is a post graduate in Communication Studies from Hyderabad Central University. She has previously worked as a photojournalist, editorial, and graphic design intern in The Indian Express, Newslaundry, and NDTV. Reigning from Delhi, she has an avid interest in photojournalism, and all things visual. She has also represented India as a delegate in the JENESYS 2019 Student Exchange Program with the Government of Japan. Having pursued her graduation in history from Delhi University, she was also a part of her college's theatre society. Her primary interests include: photography, poetry & politics.

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