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All 90 pvt hospitals out of ESI scheme
All pvt hospitals out of ESI scheme.

All 90 pvt hospitals out of ESI scheme

Health Secretary issues order to cancel empanelment after complaints of wrongdoing25 Mar 2019 | 7:03 AM

CHANDIGARH: The state government has cancelled the empanelment of all 90 private hospitals with the Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESI) hospitals following complaints of alleged wrongdoing.

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Jupinderjit Singh

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 24

The state government has cancelled the empanelment of all 90 private hospitals with the Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESI) hospitals following complaints of alleged wrongdoing.

The decision was taken on the basis of field reports, which mentioned that ESI doctors and other employees were allegedly recklessly referring cases to private hospitals notwithstanding the fact that these institutes have specialised services as well as the infrastructure required for treatment.

Though no action has been taken so far against any senior medical officer or other staff for the “wrong referrals”, the empanelment has been cancelled with immediate effect. Under the empanelment scheme, employees were allowed to avail treatment from private hospitals on the state government insurance cards.

Health Secretary Satish Chandra issued the orders for cancelling the inclusion of the private hospitals under the ESI scheme. He told The Tribune that the decision was taken on the basis of the field reports that highlighted the “reckless referrals”.

“These private hospitals were empanelled with the ESI facilities as the latter then lacked staff and equipment. However, we have filled the vacancies of specialist doctors and other employees in the last few months. We have also installed necessary equipment and infrastructure for the treatment of most diseases,” he said.

The 90 hospitals were empanelled in October last year. The scheme was, however, started during the previous SAD-BJP regime.

Sources in the health department said many senior medical officers had referred patients to private hospitals instead of treating them at the ESI hospitals. The state government officials inspected the records and found that despite providing the required staff and equipment, patients were being referred to private hospitals.

Sources said the government may even conduct an inquiry into some cases if there were allegations that government staff received commission for the referrals.

Reckless referrals to blame

The decision was taken on the basis of field reports, which mentioned that ESI doctors and other employees were allegedly recklessly referring cases to private hospitals notwithstanding the fact that these institutes had specialised services as well as the infrastructure required for treatment. 

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