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CGHS pensioners hit hard

November is a dreaded month for thousands of pensioners in the State Capital who are covered under the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS). Call it sheer coincidence or planning, since 2007 in November the super-speciality hospitals of Hyderabad start declining admissions to senior citizens, covered under CGHS, on the pretext of pending bills.

This year too is no different, as A.P. Speciality Hospitals Association (ASHA) once again stopped taking CGHS pensioners. ASHA authorities pointed out that they are declining admissions because of mounting financial burden due to non-payment of bills since last year by CGHS authorities.

The pensioners are caught in the middle of the crossfire between CGHS and ASHA. “CGHS is not clearing medical bills because they doubt that corporate hospitals have submitted inflated bills. The corporate hospitals are not taking admissions because their bills are not cleared. With no truce in sight, we are the worst sufferers,” says General Secretary of All Pensioners and Retired Persons Association Laxmi Narayana.

All the top corporate hospitals including Yashoda, Apollo, Medwin, Global, Mediciti, Medwin, Star, Image, Kamineni, KIMS, Indo-American Cancer Institute, Rainbow and Innova Children’s Hospitals are declining to admit pensioners under CGHS scheme. The CGHS, Hyderabad is yet to release Rs. 20 crore worth of medical bills to private hospitals. “A majority of senior citizens can’t afford costly treatment at private hospitals. What will happen to such pensioners in case they need emergency medical services and private hospitals deny them admissions?” asks another member of the association G. S. Vittal.

30,000 pensioners

The CGHS, Hyderabad, has nearly 30,000 pensioners and their families on its rolls who depend on the health insurance cover for their medical needs.

“There is no coordination between the CGHS and private hospitals, due to which we have to suffer. If authorities do not solve this issue, we will take to streets and protest,” Mr. Laxmi Narayana said.
Source: The Hindu


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