Theweekendleader

Private hospitals may suspend cashless service for CGHS/ECHS beneficiaries

New Delhi

21-December-2019

Due to heavy outstanding dues to be paid by the Centre, private hospitals might suspend cashless services under the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) and Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS).

The country's healthcare industry is passing through a crisis. Non-payment of legitimate dues by the government is taking a toll on the day to day functioning of the hospitals.

The hospitals have also claimed that the reimbursement rates for various medical procedures under the CGHS have not been revised since 2014, whereas hospital expenses continue to grow to match inflation related expenses.

"Rates and agreements between CGHS and hospitals were supposed to be revised every two years, but CGHS have been unilaterally postponing it without giving any reason. Studies carried out by various institutes show that rates of many procedures under CGHS do not cover even the operating cost incurred by hospitals." said R.V. Asokan, Secretary General, Indian Medical Association (IMA).

While addressing the media, IMA President Santanu Sen said: "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% of such services.

"It is therefore time that the government take urgent stock of ground realities and engages with private sector to assess the genuine concerns and save the industry from collapse/ slow down.

"Healthcare besides having social obligation has potential to be the largest employer and it is therefore of utmost importance that government and private sector get in to dialogue and find lasting solution paving way to achieve universal health coverage through Ayushman Bharat."IANS