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Arogyasri services continue to be hit; Govt releases ₹100 cr

G Naga Sridhar Hyderabad | Updated on August 20, 2019 Published on August 20, 2019

Medical services under the Arogyasri Health Scheme (AHS) for the needy continue to be hit for the fourth day in a row.

Some corporate hospitals which are members of Telangana Arogyasri Network Hospitals Association (TANHA) have halted treatment from August 16 as bills were overdue from Arogyasri Health Care Trust (AHCT) which manages the scheme.

AHS is a flagship health care scheme of Telangana government and is said to have inspired Ayushman Bharat, the national health insurance scheme launched by the Centre. Over 83 lakh families are enrolled under AHS and Employee Health Scheme (EHS), among others.

According to TANHA, about ₹1,500 crore has been due to the network hospitals for more than a year.

However, a top official of AHCT told BusinessLine that the total dues were only ₹590 crore as on August 17, 2019. As pay out per day is ₹3 crore, you can add another ₹6 crore to this amount.

“Today, we have been told that government released ₹100 crore in addition to the ₹70 crore released a couple of days ago to clear the dues. The actual disbursal will take three-to-four days,” the official said adding that the remaining ₹420 crore will be cleared in due course.

Even though the State government has released ₹750 crore early this year, it has gone to settle dues pending since 2017-18.

There has been a discrepancy in the amount of dues cited by AHCT and network hospitals which also needs to be looked into by both. The officials are of the view that reduction in cost of stent and others have not been factored in the claims which were made on the basis of previous higher prices.

“When we have already started payment, private hospitals have stopped services which is not fair. The government is serious over this attitude and will further tighten scrutiny of norms including the mandatory proportion of free services a hospital needs to undertake,” the official said.

Patients

The worst hit are patients, especially those with serious ailments. “We have been sleeping on the road for last two days as treatment has been stopped suddenly,” M Bhupender, a farm worker from Adilabad said. He has to undergo a cardiac procedure.

The government hospitals, including Osmania and Gandhi, have been witnessing heavy rush of patients who are in need of urgent treatment as corporate hospitals are turning them away.

Published on August 20, 2019
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