NEW DELHI: Major corporate hospitals have threatened to withdraw services under the Central Group Health Scheme and the Ex-Servicemen Health Scheme, saying that the Union government owes over Rs 700 crore to them.
In a press conference on Thursday, representatives of hospitals and private healthcare professionals said hospitals were on a verge of collapse.
“The Indian Healthcare industry is passing through a crisis. Thousands of crores are due to be paid by CGHS/ECHS to private hospitals. The outstanding are pending for past several months,” said a joint statement by the Association of Healthcare Providers of India and Indian Medical Association.
Max Healthcare, Fortis Healthcare, Medanta, Narayana Health and HCG group of hospitals are among such affected private healthcare facilities. Repeated attempts by hospitals and associations have not yielded any response, they rued.
“Non-payment of legitimate dues by the government is taking a toll on day-to-day functioning of the hospitals. Hospitals are unable to pay salaries to the employees. Many hospitals have begun to cut down the operations by closing certain wards and beds.”
Hospitals are constrained to lay off the employees, they said. “If the situation is allowed to persist, it is feared that lakhs of hospital employees may lose jobs. The hospitals having been pushed to the brink of unsustainability, will be constrained to suspend cashless services for the beneficiaries of CGHS/ECHS.” Reimbursement rates for medical procedures under CGHS were not revised since 2014, said the Associations.
The Associations warned that while the PM had stressed on the need for opening of new hospitals in Tier-II and III cities, the current scenario will adversely affect effectiveness of Ayushman Bharat scheme.
“Considering that 70 per cent of OPD and 60 per cent of IPD patients are being taken care of by private healthcare providers, the likely disruption of health services due to financial crunch is going to impact the national healthcare scenario more so in tertiary care where private sector provides more than 85 per cent of such services,” they said.