Hyderabad: Patients across the Telangana State are expressing their deep concerns over halting of medical services under Aarogyasri health insurance scheme by network hospitals. However, Telangana Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association (THANA) has justified its decision on stopping medical services under Aarogyasri as over Rs300 crore worth dues are yet to be cleared by the State government. THANA has 160 hospitals including 80 in Hyderabad and it has put forth three main demands before the Government – revision of package rates as they’re not revised for nine years, modification of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) besides releasing the pending payments.

Despite our frequent reminders, there’s no response from the State government. THANA has stopped honouring Aarograsri card from Thursday onwards. The State government a month ago assured of clearing all the dues under Aarogyasri health insurance scheme, but so far nothing has happened
Dr T Narasinga Reddy, Chairman, THANA

“Despite our frequent reminders, there’s no response from the State government,” said the association. THANA has stopped honouring Aarograsri card from Thursday onwards. The State government a month ago assured of clearing all the dues under Aarogyasri health insurance scheme, but so far nothing has happened, according to THANA.

Dr T Narasinga Reddy, Chairman, and Dr L Suresh Goud, Convener, of the Aarogyasri unit of the association, said: “It’s been decided not to accept Aarograsri card for any treatment or procedures. Because the pending payments have crossed Rs 300 crore. The Government has not responded to our repeated reminders.” THANA further said that already top corporate hospitals have started displaying banners at their reception counters stating that halt of all kinds of medical treatments including out-patient and in-patient treatment under Aarogyasri health insurance scheme.

“Majority of hospitals have been incurring losses by taking up Aarogyasri cases with packages fixed way back in 2007 and now we’re in a situation to run our hospitals if the Government not releasing bills in time,” they said. The State Government in May released Rs 80 crore after a the hospitals resorted to a strike-like situation. The government had also made a promise of releasing Rs100 crore more within days, but it ‘never happened’ and in the meantime the arrears had crossed Rs 300 crore, according to THANA.

The State Government in May released Rs 80 crore after a the hospitals resorted to a strike-like situation. The government had also made a promise of releasing Rs100 crore more within days, but it ‘never happened’ and in the meantime the arrears had crossed Rs 300 crore.

Dr. Sudheer, an office-bearer at THANA, said: “Payment crisis began in July 2015, but the network hospitals continued the services to avoid inconvenience to poor patients benefited by the scheme. We are providing free outpatient and investigations while performing complicated surgeries at subsidised prices yet we are accused of making money only.”

THANA has also criticized the Aarogyasri Trust for removing 133 surgical procedures including some key neuro procedures plus long bone fractures treatments unilaterally even while the public hospitals lacked the necessary infrastructure. “It is nothing but preventing the poor from getting access to effective and affordable treatment,” THANA said.