The Bharatiya Janata Party has urged Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan to intervene and see that the State government immediately implements Aarogyasri health insurance scheme for COVID patients and enhances the eligibility from ₹2lakh to ₹5 lakh on par with the Centre’s Ayushman Bharat, besides providing special grants to government hospitals to ramp up infrastructure to meet any future exigencies.
In a communication to Dr. Soundarajan, a copy of which was released to the media on Sunday, party president Bandi Sanjay Kumar explained that the coronavirus has now spread to the districts and scores of people have fallen sick but due to the lack of adequate public healthcare facilities, they are forced to depend on private hospitals who are “exploiting the situation and charging indiscriminately.”
From the first wave of March 2020, the government here had failed to ramp up medical facilities in both rural and urban areas “despite getting funds from the Centre” – forcing poor people to rush to private hospitals as the government healthcare facilities are full.
“Many poor people are unable to afford the treatment or are mortgaging their properties to be in debt for rest of their lives. Therefore, the only remedy is to bring the COVID treatment under Aarogyasri just like the Central government has brought it under the ‘Ayushman Bharat’ benefiting many citizens across the country. However, the State government has been dodging the issue for nearly a year,” he charged.
Such a decision would immediately benefit 80 lakh people and Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao himself announced in the Legislative Assembly that ‘Ayushman Bharat’ would be implemented in State and the Chief Secretary too had endorsed the same during the meeting with Prime Minister on Dec. 30, he said.
While the pandemic magnitude has hit the lives and livelihoods across the spectrum, it is the poor who have been the worst sufferers and it is imperative to help the vulnerable sections get quality medical help, he said.
Mr. Sanjay Kumar also disclosed that the government owes at least ₹1,000 crore to private hospitals with regard to the pending bills under the ‘Aarogyasri’ and there is a danger of the latter refusing to admit patients, so necessary instructions should be issued to them to ensure no patient suffers.