Andhra Pradesh Government Bans Private Practice By Government Doctors

Acting on the recommendations of the expert committee on healthcare, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Wednesday directed that private practice by government doctors be banned and they be financially compensated in lieu of the loss incurred – it could either be in the form of non-practising allowance or commensurate hike in salary.

The expert panel, headed by Dr Sujatha Rao, was constituted to study and recommend measures for improving healthcare in the State. The panel submitted its report to the Chief Minister on Wednesday and made as many as 100 recommendations.

During the discussion with the panel members at his office, the Chief Minister accepted some of its crucial suggestions. He directed the officials concerned to draft proposals for compensating government doctors for foregoing private practice.

The previous TDP government had allowed private practice stating that it was in no position to pay non-practising allowance.

Among the other key decisions taken at the meeting are to cover super specialty services in 150 hospitals in Chennai, Hyderabad, and Bengaluru under the government’s flagship health insurance scheme, Aarogyasri, from November 1; issue Aarogyasri cards from December 1 and to roll out the scheme — after bringing in more number of diseases under its ambit, as a pilot project from January 1.

The pilot project will be implemented in West Godavari district and cover 2,000 diseases. In other districts, the pilot project will cover 1,200 diseases.

As announced by the government earlier, those with an annual income of less than `5 lakh can avail of Aarogyasri if the medical bill exceeds `1,000.

From Apirl 1 next year, Aarogyasri will be implemented district-wise after going into the problems, if any, in implementing the scheme in the pilot project stage.
It was also decided to pay `5,000 during the convalescence period to those who get operated under the scheme. The Chief Minister opined that those suffering for long from various illnesses could be brought under one category and directed the officials to frame guidelines.
The Chief Minister also stressed the need to overhaul education, both medical and engineering, to include work experience in the last year of study. He also reiterated that his government was determined to change the face of government hospitals.

Recognising the need to recruit doctors, he directed that a notification for recruitment be issued. He also felt nursing colleges must be monitored in the same way as medical colleges.

On the 104 and 108 ambulance services, Jagan said an effective mechanism must be evolved to maintain the vehicles  and also emphasises the need to focus on sanitation in hospitals.

He instructed the officials of the department to purchase medicines that meet WHO standards. – The New Indian Express

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