Punjab & Region

Alleging harassment, IMA Punjab members threaten to quit health insurance scheme

The Fact News Service
Chandigarh, October 12

Members of the Punjab chapter of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) threatened to pull out of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojna (PM-JAY, Ayushman Bharat), citing rejection of claims and delay in settling claims by the insurance company concerned. This was discussed in an emergency meeting of IMA Punjab held in Ludhiana on Sunday, which was attended by more than 300 doctors from different parts of the state.

Accusing the state government and SBI General Insurance company of depriving the public of quality medical services by reserving 194 treatments only for government hospitals, the members warned of ‘mass quitting’ the scheme.

The members alleged SBI General Insurance was harassing the private medical facilities through different means — by delaying claim settlements, conducting inspections by BAMS/BDS/BHMS and then issuing show-cause notices, deducting or rejecting claims on “flimsy” grounds.

Association’s honorary secretary Dr Ashish Ohri said there should be transparency in the scheme and if the government wants to reserve certain treatments for government hospitals, then the information should be shared with the public. “People accuse private hospitals of not giving benefits to them under the scheme. The government should not reserve any package/treatment so that everyone can have access to medical facilities at private hospitals,” he said.

Patron and former Punjab IMA president Dr Manoj Sobti meetings were held with the state government and former health minister Balbir Singh Sidhu in the past, but to no avail. “A delegation of IMA members is expected to have a meeting with deputy chief minister OP Soni on Tuesday and if the government fails to resolve the issues, we will be left with no other option but to go for quit the scheme en masse,” he said.

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