If you are a Central government employee and have taken ill, there is a reason to worry. With the government not paying its dues, hospitals in the capital are either refusing to be empanelled under the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) or are telling patients to pay upfront.
And these are not just private hospitals waiting for clearance. For a sum of Rs 17,66,953, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) has sent 16 reminders since 2005 to the CGHS.
“Forget about paying up, people in the CGHS do not even acknowledge the reminders we sent them every month,” said a senior administrator at AIIMS on condition of anonymity. Director General CGHS Dr R.K. Srivastava refused to comment after repeated enquiry.
Leading the list of hospitals waiting for their payments is Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals with over Rs 7 crore to be settled. The hospital is no more on the list of the CGHS empanelled hospitals.
“We did not want to be on the list because the money does not come back. Moreover, the CGHS has just revised their rates and it is much lower than the market price,” said a senior officer in the hospital.
Similarly, Max Devki Devi Heart Institute in Saket is the only hospital in Max group that was empanelled in April last year. “They owe us over Rs 3.5 crore. As per the terms of contract, the government should settle the bills within 60 days but that never happens,” said Sanjay Rai, director of Max Healthcare.
Given the hassles in clearing bills, hospitals like Sir Ganga Ram Hospital and AIIMS now ask the CGHS beneficiaries to pay upfront and get reimbursements from their offices. “It is simpler this way,” said an officer at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.