Kakinada: State staff face hospital desperation

The reluctance on the part of the hospitals is due to crores of rupees owed to them by the government.

Kakinada: Government employees in East Godavari who fall sick face great difficulties because many of the private hospitals are not ready to provideg treatment to them on showing the health cards issued by the government.

The reluctance on the part of the hospitals is due to crores of rupees owed to them by the government. According to sources, 13 hospitals out of 130 in the district went on strike and do not entertain employees holding health cards. Many of the employees, not aware of the issue, approached some of these private hospitals when they encounter the need for urgent treatment, They, however, have to face the situation. Some hospitals admit them without informing them about the conditions and, after admitting them, the hospitals charge them for the services.

The brother of one of the government employee was severely injured when he met with an accident. After admitting him to the ward, the hospital authorities said that the health card was not allowed and they will have pay cash immediately.

"How can we pay such a huge amount on the spot," said a relative of the teacher who suffered injuries. He was asked to pay nearly Rs.10 lakh, after the treatment was completed. This is just one of the many cases the employees have been forced to face.

According to doctors, the hospital managements sought the state government to at least give an assurance on clearing the arrears in a particular time. But, it is alleged that the state government has not done so. With this, some of the hospitals went on strike. They are, however, providing medical treatment under NTR Vydya Seva and Arogya Raksha schemes, source said.

The medical officials concerned said that the issue is under discussion at the state level. Nearly 13 hospitals are on strike for not allowing health cards of government employees as also working journalists' health cards. "We advise employees to check the condition of hospitals before getting admitted or getting treatment at the hospital."

He said that many hospitals continue to allow treatment on the health card. If the employees approach the Arogya Mitras at the hospitals, they can give advice or explain details of the hospitals. The patients can then get treatment without feeling inconvenience." Though the patient gets the treatment in private hospital which is on strike or reluctant to give treatment on health card, they can get reimbursement GO documents from the hospital for getting the expenses.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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