At AIIMS Rishikesh, services upto 4000 times costlier than Delhi, say patientsdehradun Updated: Nov 04, 2017 20:42 IST
Calling the “steep hike” a huge blow to the people of Uttarakhand, a number of social organisations and activists have come together under the banner of #RightToHealth movement.(VINAY SANTOSH KUMAR/HT PHOTO)
Residents of Rishikesh are on an indefinite hunger strike protesting against a “steep hike” in the prices of medical procedures at the AIIMS Rishikesh that are several times higher than the rates at the AIIMS Delhi.
The AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences) in Rishikesh was setup in 2012 with the aim of providing quality healthcare to local residents at reasonable rates.
On October 5, changed rates of medical or surgical procedures corresponding to that approved by the central government health scheme (CGHS) at all healthcare centres, were implemented.
The revised rates for medical procedures at the AIIMS in Rishikesh were approved by a standing finance committee under the Union health ministry, authorities at the premier hospital, said.
Activists, however, say that cancer patients admitted in the private and general ward at the AIIMS in Delhi pay ₹3,000 and ₹750 for radiotherapy are being asked to pay between ₹29,750 and ₹1, 32,314 for the treatment at the AIIMS in Rishikesh, which is nearly 4,000 times higher.
Similarly, for a normal delivery, which is free in AIIMS Delhi general ward and for which R 2000 charged in its private ward, the AIIMS Rishikesh is charging R 7500.
Calling the “steep hike” a huge blow to the people of Uttarakhand, a number of social organisations and activists have come together under the banner of #RightToHealth movement, and as part of which Praveen Singh, Ram Krishna Tiwari and Aadesh Chaudhary are sitting on an indefinite hunger strike outside the hospital.
“A large number of patients come to the hospital for treatment not just from Rishikesh but also from remote Garhwal hills, so we are demanding an immediate rollback in the fee hike,” said activist Praveen Singh, who alleged that the decision was taken to “benefit private hospitals”.
“The hospital is also battling with shortage of doctors and staff and this (increase in rates) is nothing but a cruel move, which has left the common man helpless,” he told Hindustan Times.
The AIIMS in Uttarakhand was set up to provide affordable medical treatment for a large number of people, especially those who come from the remote hill areas, said Mukesh Semwal, convener of the state unit of the Socialist Unity Centre of India.
“The move will clearly force patients to seek treatment in private-run hospitals, which, ironically may be charging lesser than this (AIIMS’ increased rates),” he said.
Harish Thapliyal, public relations officer at the AIIMS, Rishikesh, said the revised rates conforming to the CGHS rates were not applicable for below poverty line (BPL) patients.
“Even for non-BPL patients, consultant doctors have been given powers to waive off the entire procedure cost on case to case basis,” he told HT.
He further said that a meeting has been convened on November 5, where a “final decision may be taken to rollback the changes partially or entirely”, considering the people’s demand.