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Indian Express
02 February 2011

Th e government had shortlisted only three hospitals earlier
OVER a lakh beneficiaries of the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) have something to cheer about. The government had shortlisted a mere three hospitals for treating the patients but now has reconsidered the demand and allowed the old system to prevail. Now, around 24 hospitals will continue to provide treatment to the CGHS beneficiaries as per the old rate.

Additional Director of CGHS Dr S R Pashupatimath had written to the Union Health Ministry, saying it is practically impossible to manage patients at only three hospitals. The three hospitals – Ruby Hall Clinic, Kotbagi Hospital and Deendayal Hospital – had to sign an MoU with the government before October 20 last year to treat the patients as per modified rates. A huge chunk of the beneficiaries are retired government employees.

Pashupatimath said that several pensioners associations along with some hospitals had urged the government to look into the matter and to allow the remaining 24 hospitals to continue with the scheme. The government had also proposed two–tier rates for hospitals accredited with National Accreditation Board of Hospitals and those who do not have the accreditation.

"Now the government has agreed to our demands and even given a deadline of five months to allow old and new hospitals to apply for empanelment. We will also try and convince other hospitals like KEM, Ratna, Joshi and Poona Hospital to enroll under the scheme."

While several hospitals had a complaint that they were never paid on time, the Additional Director of CGHS pointed out that the government has appointed a Bill Clearing Agency – UTI–TCS. Here hospitals are required to send online information about each patient. "After the patient is discharged the bills are cleared within a matter of ten days," Pashupatimath said.

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