Hyderabad hospitals pull the plug on the Aarogyasari scheme

Private hospitals in Hyderabad are ready to give up on the Aarogyasri scheme. The hospitals have decided to pull the plug on the scheme by May 3rd after the government decided not to accept the minimum 30% hike on the existing tariff. They also said that hence forth they will only admit patients who can be discharged before the deadline.

If private hospitals to end up pulling out from this scheme, thousands of poor people will lose the opportunity to avail of quality medical care at a subsidised rate. This rule will apply state wide. About 250 private hospitals in the state treat about 2 lakh patients annually under the Aarogyasri scheme for the 938 listed ailments and diseases.

Dr B Bhaskar Rao, president of ASHA, said that they came to this decision with a heavy heart, but they are not capable of bearing the load of the scheme anymore. The hospitals say that since the inception of the scheme in 2007, the prices of various drugs has shot up dramatically leading to immeasurable financial burden on private hospitals. They also say that they were initially led to believe that there were only 28% people under the BPL, but the truth was that almost 82% people were eligible for treatment under the scheme. The hospitals say that they have been requesting the government to revise the policies of the scheme for the past two years but to avail, left with no option they have to pull out to the scheme.

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In another development, the AP Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association (APNA) and AP Specialty Hospitals Association (ASHA), sent a notice to the CEO of Aarogyasri trust. They demanded a minimum 65% hike in the tariffs, over and above the revised tariffs for health insurance schemes that were being exercised for state government employees and their dependants for twin sharing of rooms. They also demanded a 100% hike over and above the revised tariffs for single private rooms. The notice was sent out at the same time as the government was planning to launch a scheme similar to the Aarogyasri scheme from Ugadi, the harvest festival celebrated in Hyderabad.

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