ASHA refuses to resume Aarogyasri services

The decision of suspending the services has caused a difficulty among the Aarogyasri patients and the family members of employees.
A notice put up at a hospital regarding suspension of Aarogyasri
A notice put up at a hospital regarding suspension of Aarogyasri Photo| Express

VIJAYAWADA : The network hospitals, that suspended the Aarogyasri and Employment Health Scheme (EHS) services, announced that they will continue their strike across Andhra Pradesh. The move came after the talks between the State government and Andhra Pradesh Special Hospital Association (ASHA) has failed.

Aarogyasri CEO Lakshmisha organised a Zoom meeting with the authorities of ASHA, requesting them to resume services to avoid inconvenience to the public.

Despite the State government releasing Rs 203 crore to the network hospitals on Wednesday, the CEO did not assure the clearance to the entire arrears, which amount to nearly Rs 1,500 crore to Rs 1,800 crore from August 2023.

The decision of suspending the services has caused a difficulty among the Aarogyasri patients and the family members of employees.

It may be recalled that the association issued an ultimatum to the government to clear their dues two days ago. In a letter on Monday, they announced that they would continue their strike if the State government failed to meet their needs. With no response, the management of the network hospitals declared that they had halted the services.

During the virtual meeting, the CEO explained the situation and assuring the release of Rs 203 crore. However, the doctors explained their struggles with the long-pending dues and demanded the release of at least Rs 800 crore. After thorough discussions, the network hospitals informed the CEO that the Rs 203 crore released would not meet even one month’s bills and would not clear their pending hospital bills. They demanded the immediate release of at least Rs 400 crore out of the Rs 800 crore needed. As the CEO was unable to assure them of this, the network hospitals continued their strike.

Speaking with TNIE, ASHA Secretary Dr C Avinash said they were not convinced by the government’s negotiations. He stated that the released amount would not help any network hospital to clear their staff salaries and urged to release minimum Rs 800 crore to meet the immediate needs.

He added that even though they explained to the CEO that the dues from the government ranged from Rs 1,600 to Rs 1,800 crore, the CEO did not give any assurance of release of payments. He made it clear that they would not serve Aarogyasri and would continue their strike suspending Aarogyasri services and urged the public to support them. Meanwhile, in a release on Wednesday, Lakshmisha said they cleared Rs 203 crore on Wednesday and had released a total of Rs 366 crore so far in the 2024-25 fiscal year. He warned that action would be taken against hospitals that disrupt services for Aarogyasri beneficiaries and instructed all Collectors to provide emergency health services to all the underprivileged.

Special Chief Secretary, Department of Health and Family Welfare, MT Krishna Babu instructed all the CHCs, AHs, DHs, and Government General Hospitals to take measures to provide medical services to all Aarogyasri beneficiaries. He assured that patients would not be troubled and that all specialty services would be available at government hospitals.

Related Stories

No stories found.

X
The New Indian Express
www.newindianexpress.com