Karunya Arogya Suraksha Padhati at SCTIMST

Published - April 01, 2022 10:00 pm IST - Thiruvananthapuram

Almost three years after the Kerala government implemented the Ayushman Bharat-Karunya Arogya Suraksha Padhati (AB-KASP), the Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST) here has finally consented to empanel itself under the scheme, much to the relief of the KASP beneficiaries who have not been able to access free treatment from the premier healthcare institution till now.

An official statement from the Health Minister said that KASP will become operational at SCTIMST from April second week and that the State Health Agency (SHA), the implementing agency of KASP, will open a special kiosk at SCTIMST and provide training to the staff on operationalising KASP. As in the case of all empanelled hospitals under KASP, the beneficiaries of the Karunya Benevolent Fund can also seek free care from SCTIMST.

SCTIMST had remained stand-offish from empanelling itself under KASP right from the beginning, stating that the treatment package rates under KASP were inadequate and that it would push the institution, which was already under much financial distress, to incur huge losses annually.

It is following continuous negotiations between the State government and SCTIMST that the latter has finally joined KASP.

The refusal of the premier public-sector institution to get on board with KASP had put the government in a spot as thousands of BPL beneficiaries of KASP were unable to seek treatment for serious cardiac or neurological ailments from SCTIMST.

The statement said that SHA had provided treatment benefits to the tune of ₹1,473 crores to 5,27,117 beneficiaries in 16.13 lakh claims in the 2021-22 period. Of this, the State government provided ₹1,334 crores, while the Central government share was ₹139 crore.

So far, 198 government hospitals and 452 private hospitals have empanelled in the scheme. Another 148 hospitals have also been empanelled exclusively for COVID-19 care.

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