NEW DELHI: As many as 250 instances have been red-flagged in the Centre’s flagship Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana (PMJAY) resulting in de-empanelment of 66 hospitals while inquiries are on in the others.
Sample this: Seven women got added to a family quota to get their Ayushman Bharat cards and the next week they were having delivered babies in a private hospital.
These are some of the cases of frauds by hospitals and doctors that have been caught during audits of the PMJAY, which was launched last September amid much fanfare.
The first malpractice came to light in Jharkhand this February. The frauds that have been caught have similar plots — public hospitals illegally issuing referral slips for a private hospital in return for pecuniary benefit, doctor in a public hospital referring the case to their own private clinic even through there was no specialist available there, private hospitals asking patients for money and approving procedures even though it might not have been required.
But, officials insist that there are no reasons to worry, as yet. “We have a very strict gate-keeping and zero tolerance approach towards fraud and therefore any case of possible fraud is instantly investigated by state health authorities,” said a senior official of the National Health Authority that runs the PMJAY.
The official added that FIRs were lodged in cases where recoveries are to be made.