There are 242 hospitals empanelled in the Aarogyasri scheme.
Hyderabad: Mounting debts in hospitals for the Aarogyasri scheme have peaked to Rs 1,500 crore. With no solution in sight, the Telangana Aarogyasree Hospitals Association has told health minister Etela Rajender to find a solution to the problem by July 31 or else they will be forced to discontinue the scheme.
In a meeting with health officials and the minister, TANA members stated that they were not going to strike as it had not helped them retrieve their dues in the past.
Dr V. Rakesh, senior member of TAHA, said, “Our strike in December 2018 was to make government realise that we have debts of Rs 1,000 crore and they must clear it immediately. At that time, they released Rs 200 crore.
After that there has not been any payment.”
He said the dues have increased to Rs 1,500 crore. “The hospitals cannot take the burden any more and we can only pursue the matter with meetings and constant reminders. We cannot strike every now and then. The last resort is to stop participating in the scheme as we cannot become bankrupt for operating a government scheme,” Dr Rakesh said.
There are 242 hospitals empanelled in the Aarogyasri scheme. A senior doctor said the health department, since January 2018, has adopted a technique of clearing only small bills.
“Large bills have not been cleared. In this way, each hospital has only part amounts cleared since 2018,” Dr Rakesh said.
In January 2019, the Aarogyasri department stated that only Rs 300 crore payment was pending. It is now petting the dues to TAHA at Rs 800 crore. TAHA members stated that if Rs 800 crore is pending, that must be cleared.
Another senior doctor said, “The problem is that the government wants to operate the scheme as it is a vote bank for them. But they are not able to channelise resources for the same. The government has allotted Rs 700 crore but is not willing to disburse this amount, which is very unfair.”
The 20 members of TAHA state that the scheme has now become a burden for them as they have fallen into the debt trap and are now defaulting on payments to medical device companies and also pharmaceutical companies.Dues from TS government for expenses on patients mount to Rs 1,500 crore
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