At a time when the costs of healthcare continue to skyrocket, alongside the rising number of patients side-lined into waiting lists across hospitals, a unique medical facility is in the offing in the heart of Pune, to be dedicated 100 percent to the needs of impoverished patients. The Surya Sahyadri Hospital in the old city area of Kasba Peth may soon be the first such health center in the whole country, committed entirely to the treatment of the poor. Hospital officials shared that their new venture is an effort to give back to society, and will cater mainly to beneficiaries of two government schemes — Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY), also known as Ayushman Bharat Yojana or Modicare, and the Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Jan Arogya Yojana (MJPJAY); both are availed of by lakhs of financially-backward persons across the country and state, respectively. Not only will the new medical establishment have facilities on par with super-specialty hospitals, it will also reserve all of its beds — numbering at 75 right now — for needy scheme beneficiaries. Besides routine procedures, treatments for cardiology, neurology, dialysis and chemotherapy will also be made available here. While the Surya Hospital had been functioning at the location for many years, brand Sahyadri took over the facility in 2006, establishing the Surya Sahyadri Hospital at the spot.
Now, a proposal regarding the new initiative has been sent to the state government, and is reportedly in the end stages of approval. Once this is bagged, the authorities have further decided to increase the hospital’s capacity to 100 beds. Sahyadri Group of Hospitals unit head, Dr Ketan Apte, told Mirror, “Healthcare is a noble profession that should give back to society. We are already enrolled under MJPJAY for the last five years, as well as the PMJAY more recently. These schemes help the poor, and we want to wholeheartedly be a part of them. At our new facility, the location will help many patients — we are just waiting for a final nod.” He added, “At our Deccan branch, we see massive footfalls to avail of MJPJAY. The number of beds is limited — most stay occupied due to a huge patient overflow. Operation theaters are also full and this results in an ever-increasing waiting list. It becomes difficult to give justice to all, many of whom come from different parts of the state. So, we felt a dedicated hospital for beneficiaries of schemes would be a better idea. It is possible for us to do as we have other facilities in various parts of the city and state.”
Affirming the move, Dr Sudhakar Shinde, state chief executive officer (CEO) for MJPJAY, who also heads Ayushman Bharat in Maharashtra, shared, “Surya Sahyadri Hospital will be the first of its kind in India — completely dedicated to the poor and with a 100 percent bed capacity for beneficiaries of both government medical aid schemes. Normally, 25 percent of beds are reserved by hospitals empanelled with the schemes. Now, Surya Sahyadri has approached us to run both schemes at their new facility efficiently. A meeting was also held with hospital officials and an audit completed. As soon as things get approved, the hospital will be up and running in tandem with our schemes.”
What is MJPJAY?
Phase I of this scheme began in 2012 at eight districts of Maharashtra, and was later implemented state-wide on November 21, 2013. Today, it is available at 484 hospitals state-wide. Eligibility criteria include the possession of a yellow, Antodaya or Annapurna ration card for below poverty line (BPL) persons. Above this marker, those with an annual income of up to Rs 1 lakh (orange ration card) are also eligible, as are farmers’ families from suicide-prone areas, even if they have a white ration card (annual income of above Rs 1 lakh). The sum assured under this scheme is Rs 1.5 lakh per year per family, and Rs 2.5 lakh for renal transplants. Some 971 diseases are covered under 30 different categories.
What is PMJAY?
This relatively recent scheme was launched on September 23, 2018. In Maharashtra, around 83.72 lakh families, all identified during the Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) of 2011, are covered under it at present, with Rs 5 lakh doled out per year per family. In rural areas, those hailing from scheduled castes (SC), scheduled tribes (ST) and farm laborer communities can also avail of the scheme. Under Phase I, the facility began at 81 government-run hospitals in the state, and will soon be launched at private hospitals, too, offering help for some 1,122 medical procedures. – Pune Mirror