There is a great deal of confusion about the implementation of the Arogyasri scheme in hospitals. The decision of the government not to allow private hospitals to conduct some common, non-complex surgeries under the scheme because of continuous misuse has made many private hospitals reluctant to treat Arogyasri patients.
Moreover, this decision will further burden government hospitals. Though the list of procedures to be omitted has not been finalised yet, medical associations point out that government hospitals in small towns and districts do not have the infrastructure to handle the surgeries that are being taken over from corporate hospitals. The government has decided that out of 938 procedures covered under Arogyasri, around 100 are hardly used and these are likely to be pulled out.
Further, a number of procedures such as hysterectomy, tonsillectomy, appendectomy, hernia, and laminectomy have been much abused by private hospitals. Surgery was resorted to in thousands of cases that could have been treated conservatively. So, these procedures will now be conducted only in government hospitals.
Dr E. Sai Prasad, honorary secretary of the Indian Medical Association (AP) said: “By this decision of the government, poor patients will be deprived of treatment in corporate hospitals. Moreover, there’s neither a clear indication as to how to run the scheme nor a list of procedures to be carried out.”
He said that the district and village health set-up is not equipped to handle these surgeries. “Many Area hospitals don’t even have adequate anaesthetists and in some village health centres, even safe deliveries can’t be guaranteed. How can one expect all these surgeries to be handled only in government hospitals in districts and rural areas?” he asked. Mr A. Srikanth, CEO of Rajiv Arogyasri Trust, however, says that the number of procedures that would be taken over by government hospitals has not been fixed yet. Deccan Chronicle