Mangaluru: Addressing the media persons during a press meet held at Mangalore Press Club, Dr Syed Nizamuddin- CEO of Indira Hospital Research and Diagnostic Centre, Mangaluru and also the President of Nursing Homes and Hospital Managements Association (NHHMA) said, “Member hospitals of NHHMA providing services to the ESIC beneficiaries have personally appraised ESIC officials about the difficulties that the South Kanara hospitals are facing over last few years. Huge delays in payments and outstanding dues running into crores of rupees (i.e, 50 crores approx to the private hospitals in South Kanara) coupled with less than cost rates, have made the scheme financially unavailable and in a way have a major impact on patient safety.”
He further said, “Fact in irony is that most of the hospitals in South Kanara have not received any payment since last two years. Hospitals that have received payment against their bills have observed an additional ad hoc deduction without any valid reasons which completely unacceptable. It would not be possible for hospitals to continue on the existing ESI rate and that it needs to be hiked as per escalation of cost for treatment. Therefore hospitals have unanimously decided to provide treatment at the prevailing respective hospital rates and not on credit. And hospitals request that the issues be resolved, before any new MOU was signed. Hospitals are very keen to continue this long and valuable partnership which provides quality care to the beneficiaries and do not want to put the thousands of patients into any inconvenience.
Dr Prashanth Marla- Medical Director of AJ Hospital and Research Centre speaking during the press meet said, “We believe that Patient Care and Safety is of paramount importance and this can be achieved if rates were viable and hospitals were paid the dues in time bound manner. Hospitals were finding it difficult to sustain operations because of cash flow problems arising out of the present situation. In fact, some hospitals are finding it difficult even to pay salaries to their staff and payments to the vendors for many months. However in order not to cause inconvenience to patients it has been decided from 30-09-2015 all beneficiaries will continue to get service at empanelled hospitals on payment of prevailing respective hospital rate till all the issues are resolved. They can then get reimbursed from ESIC.”
Dr Ananth Prasad Rao-Secretary, NHHMA; Dr Ajmal-CEO, Unity Health Complex; and Dr Anand Venugopal-Medical Director-KMC-Mangaluru were also present during the press meet.