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Ayushman Bharat Big Update: PGI Restarts Treatment of Patients

“UT will start accepting patients from Punjab under the insurance scheme for treatment at the hospitals of the Chandigarh government from Monday”, according to Yashpal Garg, the UT health secretary. After 15 days, the status of outstanding dues will be reviewed.

Sandeep Kr Tiwari
On August 3, PGIMER stopped the treatment of beneficiaries under the AB-MMSBY scheme from Punjab, as the state government owes ₹16 crores to the institute.
On August 3, PGIMER stopped the treatment of beneficiaries under the AB-MMSBY scheme from Punjab, as the state government owes ₹16 crores to the institute.

Resuming treatment of patients from Punjab under the Ayushman Bharat Mukh Mantri Sehat Bima Yojana (AB-MMSBY) on Friday will be a relief for hundreds of aggrieved patients, according to the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), a premier healthcare institute in Chandigarh.

The decision was made in response to a significant public outcry against the institute's decision to owing to non-payment of dues. According to a recent announcement, PGIMER resumed providing medical care after the Punjab government recently declared that all outstanding debts owed by the institution will be cleared within a short period.

On August 3, PGIMER stopped the treatment of beneficiaries under the AB-MMSBY scheme from Punjab, as the state government owes ₹16 crores to the institute.

It may be mentioned that Ajoy Sharma, the secretary of Punjab's government, had requested the UT health secretary to begin admitting patients from Punjab and had given the assurance that "in the next few days, all the pending dues will be cleared,".

The letter marked to the UT health secretary says, “The insurance company has failed to honor the claims for the treatment provided by the hospitals under Ayushman Bharat Mukh Mantri Sehat Bima Yojna.”

“At the risk and cost of the company, the Punjab Finance Department has released funds for the settlement of these unpaid balances. The department further assures the release of due funds for future claims as well,” the letter mentions.

“UT will start accepting patients from Punjab under the insurance scheme for treatment at the hospitals of the Chandigarh government from Monday”, according to Yashpal Garg, the UT health secretary. After 15 days, the status of outstanding dues will be reviewed.

Official spokesperson, PGIMER and deputy director (administration) Gaurav Dhawan, said: "The institute has taken this decision on the directives from the Prime Minister's and Union Health Minister's offices to restart the scheme so that the patients should not suffer." Patient care is the institute's first concern, according to Dhawan. To prevent patients from suffering, we have resumed extending the benefits of the Ayushman Bharat scheme to beneficiaries from Punjab. However, he asked the government and other relevant authorities to resolve the problem of outstanding dues as quickly as possible to prevent further disruptions in patient treatment.

Before August 1, PGIMER Chandigarh stopped providing AB-MMSBY benefits to beneficiaries from Punjab due to pending claims of more than Rs.16 crore.

Patients from Punjab were nonetheless permitted to seek care like usual patients by paying the user fees or under other appropriate social programs, if so qualified.

Before taking the decision, On April 1, May 13, and June 7, the institute notified the State Health Authority (SHA), Punjab, and National Health Authority (NHA) about the situation. Later the matter was even brought to the attention of senior officers of the Government of Punjab.

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