Private hospital barrier to BSKY benefits for poor patients

By Express News Service

ROURKELA:  For poor patients of the tribal-dominated Sundargarh district, the much-hyped smart health cards launched by the State government under Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana (BSKY) is of little help in private empanelled hospitals. 

Instances of listed private hospitals at Rourkela and other places either refusing free treatment to beneficiaries or denying admission for various reasons have come to the fore.   Take the example of Srimati Mahato (57) of Mahipani in Bisra block who is suffering from stomach cancer. Srimati’s neighbour Kumud Mahato said he took the ailing woman to Rourkela Government Hospital (RGH) a week back and on Monday, the authorities advised him to take the patient elsewhere citing abdomen pain in the report. Mahato said he contacted the empanelled JP Hospital but the authorities there refused admission under BSKY citing technical reasons.  

Srimati was finally admitted to the empanelled Hi-Tech Medical College and Hospital where she was diagnosed with stomach cancer with no chance of survival. Mahato said for a year, she was treated at RGH without proper diagnosis and later, JP Hospital refused admission. 

Similarly, Chandrakanti Naik (55) of Kuchedega in Hemgir block is suffering from breast cancer. After getting a smart health card recently, she hoped to avail better treatment at some private hospital as the card promised benefits up to `10 lakh for women. However, her expectation were overset.

Nephew Chandramani said with the government referral letter and medical reports, Chandrakanti was taken to a private hospital in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday but the authorities charged them `26,000 for different medical investigations and the doctor’s fee. Having exhausted all money, they had to return to Kuchedega with the patient. 

While chief district medical and public health officer Dr SK Mishra did not respond to phone calls, sources in his office said he was inquiring into the incidents.  Sources said 200 private hospitals including four in Sundargarh district have been empanelled in Odisha under BSKY. It is learnt that for Sundargarh, JP Hospital at Rourkela is empanelled for treatment under eight medical departments only. While the Hi-Tech MCH is ailing, the CWS Hospital at Rourkela and Samaleswari Hospital at Sundargarh town have limited facilities.

In a Twitter post on Friday, Sundargarh Collector Nikhil Pawan Kalyan said, “Over four lakh families have been distributed the BSKY New Smart Health Card in the district. Cashless facility at over 200 hospitals across the country is a huge benefit for people.”

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