Even as the State government is planning the logistics for the implementation of the Rajiv Arogya Bhagya Scheme aimed at providing subsidised healthcare to above-poverty line families, private hospitals on Saturday urged the government to first set right loopholes in the existing health schemes – the Yeshasvini Cooperative Farmers Health Care Scheme and Vajapayee Arogyasri.

Prashanth Katakol, member of the Karnataka Private Hospitals Forum, told presspersons that they were facing several challenges while implementing health schemes under the public private partnership model.

One of the challenges was to deal with people with ‘fake’ BPL cards claiming the benefits of the health schemes. He underlined the need for the government to address the issue of ‘fake’ BPL cards.

Besides, according to him, medical experts should be engaged by the government to plan implementation of schemes. He pointed out that Yeshasvini and Arogyasri offer surgeries that benefit only a small section of society, while a larger section is forced to spend on medical care for ailments requiring only medication and not surgery. “The schemes offer selected surgeries benefiting some patients and a majority of them who require only medication and not surgery for their illness have to spend on their own .”

B.S. Ajaikumar, chairperson of HCG Hospitals, said they were not worried about financial implications if the Rajiv Arogya Bhagya Scheme was implemented, but only wanted issues relating to existing health schemes to be addressed.

Some of the demands of the forum include revision of procedure charges and services under the existing health schemes, and annual review of the schemes. The forum wants the government to ensure that the health schemes are subject to the Insurance Regulatory Development Authority norms.

To pressure the government to look into the irregularities in the implementation of the existing health schemes, sources said that the Karnataka Private Hospitals Forum had urged networked hospitals not to entertain patients under the Yeshasvini Cooperative Farmers Health Care Scheme and Vajapayee Arogyasri on Saturday. The forum had urged hospitals not involved in implementing the schemes also to show solidarity with networked hospitals by stalling out-patient services for an hour.

Alexander Thomas, vice-president of the Association of Health Providers of India, said that many hospitals in the city refused to treat patients under Yeshasvini and Arogyasri for a day on Saturday.

An official of the Health Department opined that private players were trying to pressure the government not to implement Rajiv Arogya Bhagya Scheme as it would affect their business.

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