BENGALURU: Leading up to the Assembly polls of 2018, the Siddarmaiah administration has been wooing the electorate by unleashing a slew of welfare schemes.
The latest one is the Universal Health Coverage in the form of Aarogya Bhagya Scheme on Monday. However, the state government in its rush to get in the voters’ good books seems to have not consulted all stakeholders. Authorities at private hospitals have said that they have been caught off guard by this decision and are concerned about its implementation.
The state’s plan is to bring under one umbrella seven schemes that were previously run by different departments of the state. Private hospitals, however, say, they are unaware of this and have not been informed about how it would function.
Dr Madan Gaikwad, president, Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association said: “No meeting was called to inform us about the same nor was our consent sought. This will amount to a change in the clauses of the contract that the government has signed with us for empanelment.”
Gaikwad said the price for treatment with the same facilities vary under different schemes. “When the government says rates under the Suvarna Arogya Suraksha Trust would apply, we do not understand what it means. Besides, we are still in discussion with them on the revision of these prices,” he said.
Hospitals also claim that there is lack of clarity with technical aspects. “Previously, Below Poverty Line (BPL) patients who could afford it could upgrade their ward by paying a certain extra amount. Would the same apply with the new categories as well?” he asked.
Dr M D Marker, medical director, Bhagwan Mahaveer Jain Hospital which is among the empanelled hospitals said, “We are not kept in the loop about this. Previously, there had been issues with bill clearance.”
Will honour pact: Health department
Shalini Rajaneesh, principal secretary, department of health and family welfare said that there would be no changes in the contract signed with the private hospitals for now. It is still unclear whether discussions with private hospitals would continue. However, Rajaneesh ruled it out for the moment. On being asked about discussion with private hospitals, she added, “There is no need. They already have signed an MoU with us.”
‘Surgeries not part of contract’
Private hospital representatives also sought to know why an addition of medical and surgical emergencies were made. “Previously, under the Mukhyamantri Harish Yojane, only accident relief had to be provided. These are new additions and are not part of the contract,” said Dr Gaikwad.