To manage overstretched resources at Delhi government hospitals, the state health department plans to restrict certain services to Delhi residents to disincentivise people from other states from visiting them.

Guru Teg Bahadur hospital, Delhi government’s biggest in the trans-Yamuna region, will run a pilot project where exclusive registration and medicine dispensing counters would be created for Delhi residents.

The pilot project has to be implemented within 20 days, health department officials said. Depending on its success, it may be implemented in other Delhi government hospitals.

“Guru Teg Bahadur hospital was selected for the pilot project as it receives the highest number of patients from neighbouring states. We are looking at ways to disincentivise people who come from other states to Delhi hospitals,” said Dr Kirti Bhushan, Director General of Health Services.

The Delhi government’s only superspeciality hospital — Govind Ballabh Pant hospital — already reserves 50% beds for Delhi patients. Nearly 80% of its patients are from Uttar Pradesh and other states. The Delhi government runs 33 hospitals.

“The medical director of GTB hospital is to submit a proposal on all steps that can be taken. It could mean having more registration and medicine-dispensing counters for Delhi residents or it could mean charging people from other states for medicines and tests,” another official said.

For free tests and medicines, Delhi residents will have to present identity proof — voter card in case of adults or voter card of parents in case of a minor.

In 2016, the Delhi government had waived off all user charges for registration and tests across its hospitals. The rationale was that the cost of collection of these user charges is higher than the revenue generated.

“However, we now see that the Delhi government’s resources are over-stretched and there has to be some preference for Delhi residents. Depending on the success of the pilot at GTB, it may be implemented in other hospitals,” the official said.

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