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Small hospitals grappling with Corona-crisis, seek benefits given to MSMEs

Small- and mid-sized hospitals

Small- and mid-sized hospitals, which are finding it tough to cope up the Corona crisis, have requested the Union health ministry to provide same benefits to that of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

The sector is struggling in the wake of the ongoing Pandemic, where maximum focus is on COVID-19 cases and other services have gone to back seat. The 100-bed setup generally falls into category of small hospitals followed by medium ones( 100 and 300 beds), and large hospitals with more than 300 beds catering primary, secondary, and tertiary care.

“The small- and mid-sized hospitals have suffered major losses and are facing a survival crisis. The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has reached out to us for helping the sector. We have spoken to the MSME ministry, which is willing to help, and said that such hospitals can register in the MSME category. As far as the benefits are concerned, the MSME ministry will decide on it,” said Arun Singhal, special secretary, Union health ministry as quoted by a MINT report.

Last week, Indian Medical association (IMA) had apprised the government about the hardship the nursing homes and small hospitals in almost all the districts and towns are facing amidst Corona crisis and following lockdown. It also tried to made point that these small set ups play a huge role in catering affordable care in small towns, the report said.

As per a Ficci-EY study released in April, many small hospitals and nursing homes, especially in tier-II and III cities have left little option but to close down operations due to dried up cash flow.

In a bid to provide support to the struggling micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) sector, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced collateral-free automatic loan worth Rs 3 lakh crore last month.

The Minister had announced these collateral-free loans come with four-year tenor and no repayment (moratorium) for a period of 12 months. It will help 45 lakh MSME units across the country in resuming business activity and safeguarding jobs, she said.

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