NEW DELHI: The number of patients availing treatment under the Centre’s flagship Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana in Jammu and Kashmir has declined by nearly 90 per cent per week since August 5, when a connectivity clampdown was imposed in the state, data accessed by this newspaper has revealed.
Barely 492 patients, mostly from the Jammu region, have benefited from the programme between August 5 and 19 as compared to 5,050 patients, who got treatment in the two weeks before the clampdown.
The inability of nearly 155 hospitals, that are empanelled to offer secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation services to patients— as the scheme requires pre-authorisation— has now forced the Union government to allow hospitals to provide the facility after taking approval via phone.
Normally, pre-authorisation is done by insurance companies or trusts within six hours of a hospital raising a demand for a specific procedure on a patient by uploading relevant documents.
The state had rolled out the scheme in December last year. So far, a total of 30,233 patients in J&K have availed services under the scheme. Some hospitals in the Valley have been able to offer the service for a few emergency procedures while most patients have been made to wait,” a government official said.
Indu Bhushan, CEO of the National Health Agency, the body responsible for running the programme, said the government is “committed to providing the best possible service to the beneficiaries.”
“Tuesday onwards we have allowed hospitals to take pre-authorisation over phone,” he added.
Figures show that the top procedures opted for by the patients under the programmes include radiotherapy — required mostly in cancer, angioplasty.