Private hospitals threaten to stop taking cases from May 3 seeking hike in treatment packages

Members of the A.P. Private Hospitals & Nursing Homes Association (APNA) and A.P. Speciality Hospitals Association (ASHA) have sought a 30 per cent hike in the current tariff of ‘Arogyasri’ packages for the poorer sections, saying that rates were not revised for the past six years.

APNA and ASHA that together have a network of about 270 hospitals (including 20 corporate hospitals) across the State offering treatment to people under the popular scheme introduced by the late Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy.

At a press conference here on Wednesday, office-bearers of the associations said they had served notice to the Arogyasri Trust that starting from May 3, they would stop accepting cases if their demand was not met.

APNA president Dr. T. Narsinga Reddy and ASHA president Dr. Bhaskar Rao said for the past six years, the rates had not been revised although costs of treatment, consumables and equipment have gone up manifold. For the past several years, the existing rates covered just 50 per cent of the actual expenditure incurred by medical service providers under the scheme, they claimed, adding that the same situation could not continue any longer.

Misuse alleged

Dr. Bhaskar Rao, who is CEO, Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences, regretted that currently, a whopping 82 per cent of people were said to be covered under the scheme. “We get patients coming in swank cars and flashing ‘Arogyasri’ cards,” he added. APNA general secretary Dr. C.R. Krishna Prasad said a 30 per cent hike in tariff would amount to about Rs. 300 crore, over the approximately Rs. 1,000-crore allocated in the State budget. If the demand was not met, private hospitals would be forced to discontinue treatment to poor patients under the scheme.

A delegation of ASHA-APNA representatives submitted a memorandum to Arogyasri Trust listing out their demands.