The Telangana government's refusal to clear dues of up to Rs 1,500 crore to private hospitals that cater to the healthcare needs of patients under the state government's Aarogyasree and Employee Health Scheme is threatening to blow into a health crisis in the state, sources said.
Aarogyasree is a state government-run health insurance scheme under which private hospitals treat patients and the bill is subsequently reimbursed by the state government.
Over the last two days, over 200 hospitals enlisted under the government scheme turned away patients, forcing them to knock on the doors of overcrowded government hospitals, sources said.
A protest by the Telangana Network Hospitals Association forced the state government to announce Rs 100 crore payment of dues, with the promise that the rest would be paid in a few months.
But that did not convince the hospital representatives, who said the state government cannot expect hospital that are already struggling with lack of funds to take the extra burden.
Activist Lubna Sarwath, who went to court questioning the rationale of the state government in proposing to demolish the existing secretariat and build not just a new secretariat but also a new assembly building, spending Rs 500 crore, said the government must prioritise spending on healthcare.
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