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Hospitals to suspend cashless services: IMA

Hospitals to suspend cashless services: IMA
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Private hospitals may be forced to suspend cashless services under CGHS and ECHS as their reimbursements under these government schemes, running into crores, are pending for several months, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) said on Thursday.

New Delhi : Private hospitals may be forced to suspend cashless services under CGHS and ECHS as their reimbursements under these government schemes, running into crores, are pending for several months, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) said on Thursday.

The healthcare industry is passing through a crisis and crores of rupees to be paid to private hospitals under the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) and Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) is pending for the past several months, the IMA claimed at a media briefing.

"Non-payment of legitimate dues by the government is taking a toll on the day-to-day functioning of the hospitals and is unable to pay salaries to the employees.

Many hospitals have begun to cut down on operations by closing certain wards and beds, and are forced to lay off employees.

"If the situation is allowed to persist, it is feared that lakhs of hospital employees may lose jobs. Despite repeated attempts made by hospitals and associations, the situation has improved," IMA Secretary General Dr R V Asokan said.

The IMA claimed that financial crunch coupled with reduced number of staff are going to adversely affect patient safety, which in turn would lead to increased morbidity and mortality, without getting noticed.

While non-payment of dues has pushed hospitals to the brink of collapse, rates for various medical procedures under CGHS have not been revised since 2014, whereas hospital expenses continue to grow, Asokan said.

Rates and agreements between CGHS and hospitals were supposed to be revised every two years. "The prime minister while launching the Ayushman Bharat scheme had rightly stressed on the need for opening of 2,500-3,000 new hospitals in tier one and tier two cities to cater to the demand of PMJAY.

It is therefore time that government takes urgent stock of ground realties and engages with the private sector to assess their genuine concerns and save the health industry from a collapse or slowdown, he said.

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