Andhra Pradesh

Private hospitals denying treatment under Aarogyasri, complain patients

Many private and corporate hospitals are reportedly not admitting patients under the Aarogyasri scheme on the pretext of lack of beds. As there is a delay in getting reimbursement from the government under this scheme, the hospitals are depriving the poor of the facility.

The patients suffering from diseases like cancer and kidney move from pillar to post to get treatment in the hospitals. Normally, the patients can join the Government Hospital for treatment under the scheme, but the district hospital is being totally used for COVID-19 patients. With the possibility of spread of the COVID-19 disease, normal operations have been stopped, according to officials. It has turned into a boon for private hospitals as they get more admissions of the patients who can afford the fee.

'Priority to rich'

"The private hospitals are giving top priority for the patients who can pay the fee immediately. They deny treatment under the Aarogyasri on one pretext or the other. What is the use of the Aarogyasri card when it is not valid," said B. Adinarayana, a patient suffering from a cardiac problem.

Vizianagaram District Medical and Health Officer S.V. Ramana Kumari said that the government had powers to take action against the hospitals which were denying treatment under the Aarogyasri scheme. "Aarogya Mitra assistants are not available in some hospitals. Their presence would help patients to process the documents quickly. But it should not be taken as an excuse to reject operations and treatment under the government's health scheme," she said. "We would ask all hospitals to furnish details about the recent operations taken up under the scheme. Then, we will be knowing the hospitals which reject treatment for poor patients," she added. Vizianagaram Jana Sena Party leader Tyada Ramakrishna Rao asked the government to ensure admission of COVID-19 patients under the health scheme since coronavirus was included in the diseases' list.

"Denial of treatment is claiming the lives of many. It is really unfortunate. The government should initiate action against the hospitals that deny treatment under the scheme," said Mr. Ramakrishna Rao.

Probe sought

CPI Vizianagaram district joint secretary Bugata Ashok asked the government to conduct an inquiry into the functioning of private hospitals. "The government says people need not bear medical expenses if they cross ₹1,000. But the reality is totally different. The hospitals are fleecing patients and their family members with hefty fees. The fee for COVID-19 treatment crosses ₹5 lakh in medium range hospitals too. The hospitals should be made to collect fees which were fixed recently by the government," he added.

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Printable version | Oct 25, 2020 2:52:33 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/private-hospitals-denying-treatment-under-aarogyasri-complain-patients/article32378569.ece

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