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Modicare Fails to Take Off in Meerut; Only 5 Out Of 250 Private Hospitals Apply

At a time when around 2000 super-specialty hospitals have  decided not to be a part of the Modi government’s ambitious  healthcare scheme Ayushman Bharat — publicized as the world’ largest national health insurance scheme, also being called  Modicare — Meerut, too, has seen a poor response from private hospitals here. Out of the 250 private hospitals in the district, only five have applied for Modicare so far. Authorities said that private hospitals have cited low government rates, which are not even half of the actual cost of treatments, as the reason for the poor response. Dr Raj Kumar Chaudhary, chief medical officer, Meerut said,  A recent meeting with the district magistrate to convince the hospital owners is expected to get more applications, because the health department also answered the queries of private hospital owners.”

Ayushman Bharat is a flagship scheme of the Modi government that assures a health insurance cover of up to ₹5 lakh per family every year to 50 crore poor citizens. The scheme is set to be rolled out on September 25, as announced by Modi in his Independence Day speech. “The private hospitals believe that the government rates being provided are very low in comparison with the actual cost of the treatments and it would be difficult to provide quality care in the amount cited by them,” said a health department official on condition of anonymity. Dr Medhavi Tomar, president, Indian Medical Association, Meerut said, “The package rates being provided by the government are way below the actual costs. Also, no proper transparent list about the package rates has been provided so far. In fact, the government expects the package to include doctor’s fee, treatment, medicines, food of the patient, drop service after the treatment and even seven days’ medicines after being discharged – which is almost impossible. This is why not many hospitals are inclined to apply for the scheme.”

Dr Pooja Sharma, additional chief medical officer, Meerut said, “The number of applications from private hospitals is certain to increase because we have noticed according to the database that 70 more private hospitals have started filling up the forms, but still have to submit them.” – TOI

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