Hubballi: Among the premier state-run medical institutions and one of the oldest, the finances of the Karnataka Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS), until a few months ago, seemed to belie its standing in the state. However, services provided to patients under the Ayushman Bharat Arogya Karnataka (ABAK) scheme has helped turn the fiscal condition of the institution around. Sources said that, KIMS stands fourth among government hospitals in offering service under ABAK, and is earning Rs 2.5 crore every month, which has ensured that the finances of the healthcare institution are no longer in the red.
A hospital with the capacity to house 1,500 patients, and extensive outpatient facilities, KIMS was struggling to meet its operational costs on an annual budget of Rs 130 crore. Since the allocation was sufficient only to pay the salaries of all the employees, and other basic operational facilities, KIMS had to approach the government in order to get funds for new development projects.
The rolling out of ABAK could not have come at a more opportune time for the fiscally beleaguered KIMS, which is performing nearly 1,500 procedures each month and earning nearly Rs 2.5 crore.
KIMS director Dr Ramalingappa Antarani told TOI that the number of procedures being performed under the ABAK scheme witnessed a spurt since June 2019. “Our aim is to reach the top spot in providing treatment to patients under ABAK scheme,” he said.
Pointing out that KIMS was equipped with all thenecessary facilities to treat disorders and diseases mentioned under the ABAK list, Dr Antarani said, “Reimbursement for tertiary care is high, and we are treating around 300 to 400 patients every month in this category.”
The reimbursement paid to the hospital, Dr Antarani said, was used for various development projects at the hospital. “If we continue to remain among the top five hospitals for services provided under ABAK, it is possible that KIMS might earn Rs 30 crore a year. We are expecting a grant from the government, and if that does not come through, we will use the reimbursement funds for upgrading facilities at KIMS,” he added.
Danappa Subedar, a patient from Nargund undergoing treatment for rheumatoid fever, is among the beneficiaries of the ABAK scheme. “I was even in the intensive care unit (ICU) for a few days. I have not had to pay a single paisa since I had the ABAK card with me. All I needed to take care of was the paperwork,” he added.-Times Of India