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Private hospitals threaten to suspend CGHS cashless services

by Raju Vernekar
0 comment 3 minutes read

IT News
Mumbai, Dec 20

Over 9,000 private empanelled hospitals across the country, providing cashless service to patients under Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) and other healthcare schemes like Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS), have threatened to suspend the cashless services if pending dues of over Rs 3000 crore are not released by the Central Government.
The Association of Healthcare Providers (India) (AHPI) held a special meeting in New Delhi on Thursday and decided to give a final call to the Government to clear the dues immediately to enable them to continue the services.
AHPI Director General Dr. Girdhar J. Gyani, told “Imphal Times” that the scheme has become unsustainable the dues are piling up. If a small hospital spends Rs 50 crore, after a long time, the Government releases Rs 50 crore. By the time the payment is received, the amount spent by the hospital is doubled. Even the Delhi based major hospitals like Max, Medanta, Fortis, Apollo and Gangaram find it difficult to meet the expenses. Besides the CGHS rates have  not been revised since 2014, although it was agreed to revise the rates every two years, he added.
“We have tried to bring the plight of our members (private hospitals) to the attention of the Prime Minister too, but no avail.  We wrote to him again today seeking his intervention in the matter Gyani said.
“Considering that 70 per cent of OPD and 60 per cent of IPD patients are being taken care of by private healthcare providers, the likely disruption of health services due to financial crunch is going to impact the national healthcare scenario more so in tertiary care where private sector provides more than 85 per cent of such services,” AHPI President Dr Alexander Thomas, said.
CGHS promises comprehensive  medical care to approximately 35 lakh Central government employees and pensioners. Ex- and sitting MPs, pensioners, freedom fighters and employees serving at CGHS, Directorate General of Health Services and the Health Ministry are entitled to cashless services at empanelled providers. Pensioners and their dependents account for around 11 lakh of registered beneficiaries.  
However Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Joint Secretary Alok Saxena, said   that “This year so far, around Rs 1,400 crore have been released to service providers for cashless services and more payments are under process.”
Meanwhile the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has also endorsed the stand taken by the private empanelled hospitals, saying that the healthcare industry is passing through a crisis and crores of rupees remain unpaid to private hospitals under CGHS) and ECHS. “If the situation is allowed to persist, lakhs of hospital employees may lose jobs. Despite repeated attempts made by hospitals and associations, the situation has not improved,”  IMA  Secretary  General Dr R V Asokan said and added that studies carried out by various institutes show that rates of many procedures under CGHS do not cover even the operating cost incurred by hospitals.

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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