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Finally, OPD fee slashed for voters

Ranchi heal hubs, which were not giving a 25 per cent discount on OPD fee upon showing voter’s ink, have mended their ways from Monday. The offer, announced by the Ranchi chapter of Indian Medical Association (IMA) to encourage people to cast votes, will remain in effect for seven days.

A fortnight before the Lok Sabha polls in Ranchi, IMA secretary Dr B.P. Kashyap had announced that nursing homes and hospitals would waive 25 per cent on OPD fee for a week from April 17.

However, most heal hubs did not offer the discount from the poll day and have started doing so from Monday. Abdur Razzaque Ansari Memorial Weavers’ Hospital is one that started offering the discount.

Medical superintendent Dr P.D. Sinha told The Telegraph that they had given instructions at the billing section that any patient who showed the ink mark on his/her index finger be given 25 per cent discount on OPD charges. He added that the offer would remain valid for seven days.

When asked why the hospital did not introduce the waiver from poll day, Dr Sinha clarified: “Several departments remained closed for Good Friday, the day after the polls. This was followed by the weekend, so we chose to introduce the offer from today (Monday).”

Considering that OPD fee at the hospital is a hefty Rs 500, a slash of 25 per cent will be relief for the underprivileged.

Gurunanak Hospital and Research Centre too started giving the discount from Monday. Secretary Gurvinder Singh Sethi said being a charitable hospital, the OPD fee was low round the year.

“We charge only Rs 50 for consultation. Also, poor patients get concessions on treatment round the year. As a part of this poll offer, we will offer 30 per cent waiver instead of 25,” he said.

Raj Hospital is among heal hubs that introduced the discount on April 17 itself. Hatia resident Ramkumar Mahto was one of the many who got a pleasant surprise when he visited the healing hub with abdominal pain.

“I did not have any offer in mind. But, at the billing counter, I was told that on showing my inked finger, I could avail of the unique offer,” he said.