NEW DELHI: After failing in its efforts to get the Arvind Kejriwal government in Delhi on board for its big-ticket Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana, the Centre has found a way to implement the scheme in the capital’s private hospitals. The Central government has asked hospitals in the city to get empanelled for the scheme, suggesting that the states from where patients come to the city for treatment will share their medical expenses.
Delhi, apart from Telangana and Odisha, has decided not to join PMJAY, a scheme meant to enable about 10 crore poor families in India to avail of cashless hospitalisation facilities worth up to Rs 5 lakh. It was launched in September this year with much fanfare. The Kejriwal government, however, has made it clear that it has a problem with the name of the scheme, and demanded that “PM” be dropped from PMJAY before it can consider adopting the scheme.
Sources in the National Health Agency, which was constituted to implement the mega health insurance programme, said that Delhi not joining the scheme meant that a large number of patients from Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and the north-eastern states could not get inpatient treatment in private hospitals.
“Three government hospitals under the Centre—AIIMS, Delhi, Safdarjung Hospital, and Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital—have already been empanelled for the scheme in Delhi, but unless the private hospitals also come into the fold, patients cannot benefit in a big way in the city,” said an official.
Indu Bhushan, CEO of the NHA, said that talks were on with several hospitals for their empanelment.
“We are hoping that in the first phase we start with 10-20 private hospitals in a week or so,” he said. “And paying to the hospital will not be a problem as this programme has a national portability feature, which means that residents of a state which is on board can get the benefit of hospitalisation anywhere in the country and the Centre and the state governments will pay for the treatment as per the stipulated ratio.”
Sources in the Association of Private Healthcare Providers of India, a body of private hospitals in the country, hinted that though big hospital chains were not keen on empanelment, some medium-level players could get on board soon.