Andhra Pradesh

Private hospital owners press the panic button

The health sector, which was considered to be a most profit-making one, is now struggling to keep afloat in the State, say experts. As many as 500 hospitals out of 2,500 in the State have closed in the last one year due to the unprecedented financial crisis and the rules and regulations imposed by the government.

Managements of as many as 20 corporate hospitals are desperately trying to sell them unable to pay huge EMIs, according to representatives of The Andhra Pradesh State Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association, Indian Medical Association-AP chapter and The Andhra Pradesh Super Speciality Hospitals Association.

Representatives, who recently met in Vizianagaram, resolved to create a common platform soon to protect the sector. APNA State president V.S. Prasad said the outlook for hospital industry was bleak.

‘Multiple regulations’

“The managements are forced to take permissions and renewals from 22 government organisations every year. The rule to follow safety norm for small and medium hospitals is seen as a major financial burden as each management has to invest at least ₹25 lakh for equipment. Round-the-clock availability of doctors, nurses and other staff is mandatory for 50-bed hospitals and consequently, payment of salaries has become a difficult task,” Dr. Prasad added.

ASHA State past president Muralikrishna Voonna and ASHA governing body member Poosarla Visweswara Rao urged the government to recognise the sector as an industry.

“Single window system for all licences and renewals is need of the hour. Soft loans, subsidy on power bills, GST reduction on purchase of medical equipment and prompt payment of dues with regard to Aarogya Sri scheme will help the industry to some extent,” they added.

IMA past president Daggumati Srihari Rao said incidents of physical attacks on personnel by kin of some patients had emerged as an area of concern.

“Many patients are filing cases under the Consumer Protection Act-1986 and hospitals are forced to pay huge fines when verdicts come in favour of patients and their family members. This has forced many proprietors to don the role of employees in corporate hospitals and medical colleges,” said Dr. Srihari Rao.


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Printable version | Jun 21, 2021 12:07:34 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/private-hospital-owners-press-the-panic-button/article31093931.ece

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