Andhra Pradesh

COVID management hit as Health Dept. left with only ₹29 crore

The Medical and Health Department is left with mere ₹29.08 crore after spending a sum of ₹2,517.18 crore so far on COVID-19 management in the State.

The funds at the disposal of the department are not sufficient even to buy medical oxygen, sources say.

According to information, the Medical and Health Department is not in a position to clear the pending bills due to paucity of funds.

“The department immediately needs another ₹500 crore as 579 bills related to essential purchases are yet to be cleared. The Finance Department is yet to release funds even as the department has sought the Chief Minister’s intervention,” say highly placed sources.

The government has to pay ₹898.35 crore for various medical services, including purchase of essential medicines, but the fund flow has ceased, effectively affecting COVID-19 management in the State.

About ₹398 crore is pending release from the Finance Department under different heads for COVID-19 management. To be precise, the total bills pending are worth ₹398,35,18,254, sources say.

The Andhra Pradesh Medical Services and Infrastructure Development Corporation purchased COVID-19 home isolation kits, medicines, triple-layer masks, PPE kits, Remdesivir injections and other essential items for which ₹276 crore needs to be paid. Another ₹176 crore has to be paid for laboratory equipment, medical equipment and COVID-19 kits purchased.

For installation and repair of oxygen pipelines, civil works and construction of temporary hospitals, payment of ₹48 crore is overdue, the sources say. For oxygen supplies, ₹36.91 crore has been spent so far.

Apart from this, payment of another ₹100 crore to private hospitals under the State health insurance scheme, is said to have been stuck in a dispute for several months now for technical issues.

Between April 7, 2020 and March 31, 2021, the government spent ₹316.94 crore through the Aarogyasri Health Care Trust for treatment of 96,521 COVID-19 patients under the State health insurance scheme.

Since April this year, another ₹50 crore has been spent so far. However, a dispute has arisen between the trust and the private hospitals over the payment as there was said to be no pre-authorisation.

“The available funds are hardly sufficient even to foot the oxygen bill,” says a senior official of the department on the condition of anonymity.


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Printable version | Aug 2, 2021 3:53:43 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/covid-management-hit-as-health-dept-left-with-only-29-crore/article34853397.ece

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