PGIMER had already resumed cashless treatment of Punjab patients last week; GMCH-32 and GMSH-16 also restarted treatment on Monday after getting first instalment of dues
The Punjab government on Monday cleared 65% of the health insurance dues owed to PGIMER, Chandigarh, for cashless treatment under the Ayushman Bharat Mukh Mantri Sehat Bima Yojana (AB-MMSBY).
On August 1, the premier health institute had stopped treatment of patients from Punjab as the state government had failed to clear mediclaim dues worth over ₹16 crore owed for the past seven months. But after a huge public outcry against its decision and Punjab health secretary Ajoy Sharma’s assurance regarding payment of dues soon, PGIMER resumed the patients’ treatment on August 5.
Launched in August 2019, the flagship scheme of the Punjab government provides ₹5-lakh cashless and paperless treatment cover to 39.66 lakh families in the state.
On Monday, the Punjab government paid PGIMER ₹10.44 crore as first instalment of the ₹16 crore owed.
“The institute had restarted the treatment of Punjab patients under the scheme last week itself after intervention of the Union government and assurance of the Punjab government. On average, around 1,400 patients from Punjab avail of the cashless treatment facility at PGIMER every month,” said Kumar Gaurav Dhawan, deputy director, administration, and official spokesperson, PGIMER.
Meanwhile, Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, and Government Multi-Specialty Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16, also restarted treatment of Punjab patients under the scheme on Monday.
GMCH-32, another tertiary care hospital in Chandigarh, had stopped admitting patients from Punjab under the same scheme in March this year after the dues reached ₹2.3 crore. GMSH-16 had stopped the facilities in the last week of August after the dues had piled up to ₹1.6 crore.
On Monday, the Punjab government paid ₹86 lakh to GMCH-32 and ₹21 lakh to GMSH-16 as first instalment of the payments due and assured to clear the remaining amount soon.
UT health secretary Yashpal Garg said, “Punjab had assured us on August 5 that they will start clearing the dues in a day or two. After getting the written assurance, we had announced to restart the facility for Punjab patients from August 8 and the services are now open for patients. The hospitals also got their first instalment.”
The Punjab finance minister had sanctioned ₹100 crore on August 3 for clearing dues of various hospitals. Punjab owes ₹300 crore to various hospitals in lieu of treatment provided under the health insurance scheme. Around 250 government and 200 private hospitals in Punjab and Chandigarh are empanelled under AB-MMSBY that covers 1,579 treatment packages, including treatment, surgeries, hospitalisation expenses and day care.