After a five-day protest, private hospitals in the state have called off their strike as the government agreed to clear dues of Rs 360 crore on Tuesday.
The Telangana Aarogyasri Network Hospitals Association (TANHA) and the Health minister Eatala Rajender had a meeting on Tuesday evening, in which the government had reportedly agreed to reimburse Rs 360 crore within two months. As the government has promised to pay the amount, the hospitals have resumed the Aarogyasri service. Aarogyasri is a free healthcare service provided by the state government for the people who are below poverty line (BPL).
TANHA has been claiming that the government owes them Rs 1,500 crore, as they failed to reimburse them for more than a year. As the government did not respond positively to their demands, TANHA went on a strike from August 16, and did not admit any patients who were beneficiaries of Aarogyasri.
Dr T Hari Prakash, secretary of Telangana Aarogyasri Network Hospital Association (TANHA) told TNIE, â€śWe met with Health Minister Eatela Rajender and he has promised to release Rs 100 crore immediately, which we should be getting by Wednesday morning. He has promised to release in the course of the next two months another sum of Rs 260 crore.â€ť
Besides reimbursement, the TANHA members also urged the government to have a green channel to ensure timely release of pending bills in the near future.
â€śAs for three of our other demands, the minister said he will have to seek permission of the chief minister for increasing the Aarogyasri package for private hospitals. However, a committee will be formed to regulate the regular release of money through green channels every month, and within two months an MoU will be drafted. The minister said that he will ensure a mechanism for making payments to hospitals every month. He said he would also take steps for clearance of all arrears,â€ť Hari Prakash was quoted as saying.
The TANHA members also pointed out the need to redraft the existing memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Aarogyasri Healthcare Trust and network hospitals, in the meeting.
â€śAlmost all the clauses in the MoU are one-sided and very tough for our network hospitals to implement. We are grateful that the state government has been positive and receptive about addressing our issues,â€ť TANHA members told Telangana Today.