Two-hundred-and-thirty private hospitals in Telangana have threatened to stop the Aarogyasri and Employee Health Scheme (EHS) across the state from Friday, until the government clears their dues.
The Telangana Network Hospitals Association (TNHA) has alleged that the state government hasn’t cleared their dues amounting to Rs 1500 crore for the past 16 months, despite repeated appeals. If the association goes ahead with the protest, lakhs of Aarogyasri beneficiaries in the state will be affected.
Aarogyasri is a state government health scheme for the people below the poverty line (BPL). Under the scheme, the private hospitals provide free treatment to patients, and the government will reimburse them later.
Before announcing their strike, the association members had on August 10 protested at Dharna Chowk near Indira Park, Tank Bund, demanding the government immediately address their issues. However, the government released only Rs 100 crore after their protest.
Speaking to TNM, TNHA, state secretary Hari Prakash alleged, “The government has been delaying our payments for more than a year. Each time we protest demanding the dues to be cleared, the government releases a nominal amount of Rs 100 crore. We have protested four times in the past one year and each time they released Rs 100 crore. It has become their regular strategy.”
“This time, however, we are firm on our stand. We have submitted our memorandum about the strike to the Aarogyasri CEO and the Health minister. If our demands are not met, we would go ahead with the strike,” he said.
The association gave their memorandum to the Aarogyasri CEO K Manicka Raj and the Health Minister Eatala Rajender on July 15. Earlier in December, 2018, TNHA had stopped the Aarogyasri and EHS services for more than 10 days which affected the poor availing health services.