Millennium Post

CGHS: Health Ministry starts paying dues to pvt hospitals

New Delhi: Keeping its promise to provide quality healthcare to Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) beneficiaries at affordable rates, the Health Ministry has decided to pay all the outstanding dues to private hospitals by the end of this month.

"The ministry has already released a payment of Rs 375 crore to private hospitals as a first installment towards the total outstanding dues of Rs 875 crore. The remaining amount of Rs 500 crore would also be released by January end," a health ministry official said.

It's must to mention here that the ministry acted swiftly after private hospitals had given an ultimatum to the government stating that cashless facilities at CGHS and ECHS would be discontinued from February if unpaid bills were not paid by January. According to a ministry official, there was shortfall of buffet at the CGHS which led to delay in payment to empanelled hospitals. Giving priority to affordable health serves, the Health Ministry has allocated Rs 375 crore from its internal fund to CGHS for payment, which has been transferred to concerned hospitals, the official said.

"Now, the empanelled hospitals owe just Rs 500 crore, which would also be paid soon as CGHS has sought Rs 900 crore in the revised budget. The remaining outstanding dues would be paid with the sought fund in the revised budget," the official said.

Commenting on the decision, Special Secretary and Director General CGHS Sanjeev Kumar said, "Payment of dues to private hospitals under CGHS is a continuous process. There was a slight delay in the payment due to shortage of funds. As of now most of the arrears have been paid and the remaining amount would also be released very soon." Notably, the Association of Healthcare Providers India (AHPI), an organization of private hospitals, had stated that the government is not paying any heed to payment of outstanding dues of private hospitals which amounts to the tune of Rs 1,600 crore.

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