Zakah: Payment to hospitals

Q733 :Is it appropriate to pay zakah money to hospitals? Some people claim that this is not acceptable even if the money is utilized for the treatment of destitute patients. Please comment.

A733 : If we are certain that the zakah we pay to a hospital will definitely be used for the treatment of poor and needy people, who themselves qualify as beneficiaries of zakah, then that is a legitimate use of zakah money. But if the hospital will mix zakah money with its overall revenue and use it toward the payment of salaries and administrative costs, then zakah cannot be used for that purpose. If people in a poor locality want their local clinic or hospital to benefit by the zakah of rich people who may be approached for help, they have to persuade the hospital to have a separate account which it uses for the treatment and food of very poor patients. When this is done, it will be perfectly appropriate to pay their zakah into that account of the hospital, [and be] assured that its use is legitimate.

Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )