Private doctors and the Arogyasri Health Care Trust have finally agreed to a mutual price hike of 25 per cent on all medical procedures and also obtained a promise from the state government to the effect that they would not file criminal cases against hospitals. Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy and Arogyasri Health Care Trust CEO N. Srikanth discussed the issue of the final price rise in terms of medical procedures and also the Employees State Insurance Scheme. The Andhra Pradesh Super Specialty Hospitals Association and the Andhra Pradesh Nursing Homes Association had issued a notice to Arogyasri on April 3, seeking to discontinue their association with the scheme as the price revision on 938 diseases, identified under it, was not carried out. Now, as they have agreed to the new prices, more than 1,000 diseases are being proposed for treatment under the scheme for the state employees.
While the APNA and APSSHA agreed to the government’s demands, they expressed their displeasure and strongly condemned the legal recourse being taken against private hospitals in the state. The recent case against a super specialty hospital miffed the doctors who didn’t appreciate the state government’s stand and have asked it to set up a committee comprising six doctors to ensure that this does not recur. Two members each from APNA and APSSHA and two from Arogyasri would take up the patients’ complaints. Dr Bhaskar Rao of APSSHA said, “Every patient has a different procedure and it can’t be cross-verified by a section of doctors and negated. It requires a consensus decision and that is important for the benefit of both the patient and the hospital.” The doctors were upset by Arogyasri’s stand and wanted the Chief Minister to ensure that legal recourse was not taken against them in future. A government order will be issued regarding the price hike and both associations have decided to continue their patronage towards the state government’s scheme.