Ayusman Scheme Irregularities: Uttarakhand Health Dept Recovers Rs 44 Crore From Private Hospitals

| Updated: 09 July, 2022 3:30 pm IST
Picture for representational purpose only

DEHRADUN: Uttarakhand state health department has found irregularities in the implementation of Atal Ayushman Uttarakhand Yojana (AAUY) under which free medical treatment is provided to the people.

Uttarakhand State Health Authority (SHA), a body which monitors the centre’s flagship Ayushman Bharat Prime Minister’s Jan Arogya Yojana in the state, has recovered Rs 44 Crore from private hospitals in the last three years.

The SHA has also de-empanelled 37 private hospitals and imposed a Rs 5 crore penalty to date for irregularities in bills.

DK Kotia, chairman of the SHA told The New Indian, “We audit the bills, cross-check everything and contact the patients, their families to verify if they have really got the treatment. We found irregularities and took action against the medical establishments recovering the amount. In many cases, the money has been refunded to the patients and their families who were charged in wrong ways.”

After the Ayushman Bharat scheme was launched pan India in September 2018, the state government also launched Atal Ayushman Yojana in Uttarakhand making the medical treatment of Rs 5 lakh universal except for government employees.

More than 43 lakh cards in Uttarakhand have been issued under the scheme which includes free treatment for a total of 1670 diseases including types of cancer, heart-related ailments, kidney diseases, burn management and neurological ailments along with 26 specialities and unspecified package for special conditions.

Officials from the SHA told The New India that even after post-payment everything is cross-checked repeatedly.

“During the COVID19 pandemic, we managed to refund Rs 2.78 crores to more than 400 patients who were overcharged by the private hospitals. Over 3000 patients in COVID treatment of patients with the cost of Rs 28 crores,” added the Chairman.

The scheme was launched in September 2018 by the centre based on SECC (Socio-Economic Caste Census) covering 50 crores total population of India.

To monitor the smooth implementation of the scheme, National Health Authority was formed by the centre under the Union ministry of medical health and family welfare and the state health authority (SHA) by the state government.

The hill state has more than 600 government medical facilities across 13 districts.

Last year, an RTI reply revealed that Uttarakhand had only one forensic expert against 25 sanctioned posts.

Out of 1147 approved posts for specialist doctors in the state, only 493 specialist doctors are available in the state. A total of 654 specialist doctor positions are yet to be filled revealed in the RTI reply.

Similarly, the state had around 60 per cent shortfall pertaining to child specialists in the state, revealed another RTI last year.

The data accessed through RTI query filed by Social Development for Communities Foundation also revealed that 9 out of 13 districts of the hill state have less than 50 per cent availability of specialist doctors.

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