IMA rejects Ayushman Bharat package rates fixed by Centre

Namrata Devikar
Tuesday, 26 June 2018

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has rejected the Central government’s Ayushman Bharat package rates on the grounds that the rates are very low and the medical fraternity will not be able to provide services at those rates. The IMA took the decision in New Delhi on Sunday evening after a meeting of its national representatives. 

Rates are too low & compromise quality and breed corruption: Doctors

Pune: The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has rejected the Central government’s Ayushman Bharat package rates on the grounds that the rates are very low and the medical fraternity will not be able to provide services at those rates. The IMA took the decision in New Delhi on Sunday evening after a meeting of its national representatives. 

Doctors say the rates under Ayushman Bharat are low eg C-section usually costs Rs 35,000 to Rs 40,000 in a private facility. Under Ayushman Bharat the charge for the same is Rs 9,000. 

In a press release, the IMA stated that it is deeply concerned and rejects the current package rates. At these rates, the government is exposing patients to danger in hospitals. Such low rates will compromise quality and breed corruption and have deleterious effect on patient safety.

The release states that IMA objects to insurance model of implementation. It demands exclusive trust model. At 15 per cent profit crores of rupees would unnecessarily go to the middleman. The present health delivery system will collapse unless all stakeholders in healthcare are take into confidence. It will also lead to elimination of small and medium hospitals.  

Dr Parthiv Sanghvi, Secretary of IMA, Maharashtra chapter said, “The rates proposed by the Central government are very unrealistic. Hence the rates were opposed by the IMA headquarters in Delhi. For a treatment like Cesarean, under the Ayushman Bharat scheme the charges are Rs 9,000 which are very less. A normal C-section happens for Rs 30,000 to Rs 40,000 but the rates quoted by the Centre cannot be managed by the doctors,” said Dr Sanghvi.

He added that the IMA has done a pilot survey in four states where the minimum costing for C-section was Rs 38,000.

“In a survey that IMA did in four states like Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and two other states the minimum cost for C-section is Rs 38,000. How does the government expect us to reduce this cost to Rs 9,000. In a C-section, there has to be an operation theatre, an anesthetist and a gynecologist. How can the fee be reduced so low to fit the rate suggested by the Centre,” asked Dr Sanghvi.   

Another member of the IMA, on condition of anonymity, said the idea of Ayushman Bharat was ambitious and clearly targeted the elections next year. “However, in this whole gimmick, after the package was suggested by the Centre, it is clear that the medical fraternity will be blamed for not accepting the suggested rates. This whole thing might just turn into a negative perception in the mind of the general public fueling more violence against doctors,” said the member.
 

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