Ruby Hall says govt not paying bills, CGHS beneficiaries suffer

Clinic CEO admits they had withdrawn credit facility a week ago but have not refused treatment

For around a week now, Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) beneficiaries are being denied credit facilities at Ruby Hall Clinic, one of the 39 CGHS-empanelled hospitals in the city.

Barring emergencies, patients who tried to avail themselves of CGHS benefits have had to cough up the cost before they were admitted. The reason cited by the hospital authorities for suspending credit facility was crores of rupees in pending bills.

K K Kutty, secretary of the Central Government Pensioners' Civilian Association told Newsline that there were complaints from pensioners and the matter had been brought to the notice of CGHS authorities.

"Time and again, hospitals like Ruby Hall Clinic ask patients to pay up and we are left clueless as to how to get CGHS benefits," Kutty said.

Payment of bills to CGHS empanelled hospitals is done by UTI Infrastructure Technology Service.

CGHS officials said, "With UTI stepping in as third party insurer, there has been a speedy payment of bills." They said Rs 20-25 crore is spent on CGHS beneficiaries' treatment every year. When contacted, newly appointed additional director of CGHS Dr R Katke said they had approached Ruby Hall authorities over the matter.

CEO of Ruby Hall Clinic Bhome Bhote, however, said the government owed them nearly Rs 2-3 crore under the CGHS.

"We have a hospital to manage and the government owes us money not only for treating patients under CGHS but also other welfare schemes like Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS). Here too, the government owes Ruby Hall Clinic Rs 1-2 crore," Bhote said.

He admitted that they had withdrawn credit facility a week ago but have not refused treatment. The 39 hospitals where CGHS beneficiaries can get treatment in the city include Ruby Hall Clinic, Jehangir hospital, Inlaks and Budhrani Hospital, Noble Hospital, Sanjeevan Hospital, Deendayal Hospital, Lokmanya Hospital, Hardikar Hospital, Ranka Hospital,Sant Dnyaneshwar Hospital and National Institute of Ophthalmology. Besides, there are four CGHS-empanelled diagnostic centres, Medinova, Medivision, N M Medical Centre and Pai.

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