Ayushman Bharat plans to empanel 25,000 hospitals by year end
Apart from establishing a naming and shaming policy for hospitals committing fraud, the Union health minister Harsh Vardhan also proposed ‘name and fame” policy for the well-performing hospitals empanelled under the Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojna (AB-PMJAY) scheme on Monday.
The health minister was speaking at the inaugural session of the two-day Arogya Manthan of all stakeholders, who got together to discuss their experiences over the past one year of the implementation of the world’s largest public health insurance scheme and the way forward to improve it.
“While we are thinking of having the name and shame policy as a fraud control measure, I suggest it should be complimented with the name and fame policy to inspire hospitals and partners to do better,” said Dr Harsh Vardhan.
Nearly 1,200 cases of fraud have been confirmed so far, and action has been taken against 338 hospitals, of which 111 hospitals have been de-empanelled. “The scheme is doing exceedingly well and we need to strengthen it further,” said Dr Harsh Vadhan
Of the 18,026 hospitals empanelled under the scheme, 53% (9,554) are privately-run. The National Health Authority (NHA), which is the nodal authority for implementing the scheme, now aims to get more tertiary care hospitals that provide super-speciality treatment under its ambit.
By the end of this year, the NHA plans to take the number of empanelled hospitals to least 25,000.
The health minister also junked a private doctors’ association’s suggestion of
excluding government hospitals from the scheme, and to empanel only private hospitals.
In a statement issued on Sunday, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) had said that there was no point in including government hospitals as treatment in these hospitals was already free.
“The idea that government hospitals should not be a part of the scheme is absolutely absurd and the very idea needs to be rejected. It is not supported by any logic,” said the health minister.
At least 4.7 million people have got benefits worth Rs 7,500 crores to date under the scheme.
“We are moving towards Universal Health Care and Pmjay is a big step in that direction. In next 5 years government is looking at adding more hospitals and medical seats. We invite out-of-the box ideas to make it happen,” said Dr Vinod Paul, member, Niti Aayog.