From the recent activities and reports we’re getting our hand on, it is clear that there are many sectors and renowned companies, Indian based which have overdue debts from the government. The major one which almost everyone is well known to is the debt-laiden government telecom company BSNL.
In today’s piece we’ll cover the healthcare sector and the overlying debts they are finding themselves in. It turns out that the top private hospitals in the country have announced suspending cashless treatment under the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) and the Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS), if the government doesn’t pay its dues within the next 15 days.
Fortis and Max to Suspend CGHS & ECHS
The government had a total pending dues of Rs 1,700 crore with the private hospitals in the country, out of which it had already released more than Rs 1,000 crore.
It is yet to settle the dues amounting to Rs 650 crore and the hospitals have claimed to be hard-pressed for resources. Out of the most renowned private hospitals, Max and Fortis are the biggest creditors with total dues of Rs 245 crore and Rs 225 crore, respectively.
The Association of Healthcare Providers-India (AHPI) has informed that they’ve already met Anurag Thakur, Minister of State, Finance and ‘could soon meet Nirmala Sitharaman. The government has started releasing the amount and they’ve been given assurance that the full amount will be released soon.
Speaking of the AHPI, it represents 2,500 specialty and 8,000 smaller hospitals across India.
“Healthcare Industry is Undergoing a Crisis”
The AHPI states that the healthcare industry is passing through a crisis and since these hospitals has had unpaid dues by the government, they would have to suspend cashless services for the beneficiaries of CGHS and ECHS.
More than 37 lakh Indians are entitled to cashless treatment under the two schemes, which are meant to ease public access to quality healthcare. If these cashless facilities are withdrawn, the beneficiaries will be charged discounted rates under CGHS and ECHS and then be reimbursed by the government, directly. Currently, hospitals are reimbursed by the government.
Also due to unpaid dues by the government, hospitals are unable to pay salaries to the employees. Most of these hospitals have begun cutting down operations by closing certain wards or beds. They believe that if such circumstances continue, lakhs of hospital employees may lose jobs, which will directly affect the rate of morbidity and mortality.