Sangrur, August 4
Homi Bhabha Cancer Hospital here, the biggest health facility in the state, might be forced to stop treatment under the Ayushman Bharat Yojana if the state government fails to clear Rs 10 crore dues pending for long.
The Centre’s Ayushman Bharat scheme provides cashless treatment of up to Rs 5 lakh to a family per year and the cost of implementation is shared by the state government.
Dr JV Divatia, Director of the hospital, said: “Lack of funds have made the situation tough. At present, the hospital authorities are somehow offering all services. If the dues are not cleared soon, we may be compelled to take a hard decision. We hope things don’t come to such a pass.”
Homi Bhabha Cancer Hospital is a unit of the Tata Memorial Centre under the Department of Atomic Energy, Government of India. It was started in January 2015 and has registered 35,000 cancer patients from Sangrur and adjoining districts.
The hospital was empanelled under the Ayushman Bharat scheme in March 2020. To date, around 3,300 patients have been treated at the hospital under the scheme.
It has the required facilities such as radiation oncology, surgical oncology and medical oncology. Patients, for their part, are wary at the prospect of suspension of treatment under the Ayushman Bharat Yojana.
Gurjant Singh, a cancer patient at the hospital, said: “Some doctors have told me that services under the Ayushman Bharat scheme might be stalled. If this happens, many poor patients will suffer.”
Another patient Gurdial Singh said, “I have heard that Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann would lay the foundation stone of a government medical college here on Friday. I request him to visit the cancer hospital and see for himself the state of affairs. The CM should immediately get the amount released.”
Sangrur Civil Surgeon Dr Parminder Kaur said, “The authorities are aware of the matter. The government has started releasing the payment to big hospitals.”
Doctors and other staff have politely conveyed to Ayushman beneficiaries that treatment under the Central scheme will be suspended anytime soon. — Jasmail Kaur, patient
Hoping against hope
If the dues are not cleared soon, we may be compelled to take a hard decision. We hope things don’t come to such a pass. — Dr JV Divatia, hospital director
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