As per government data, out of a total 1,054 patients treated under the scheme, only 104 patients have availed services from the Mishra Nursing Home, the only private hospital in the district.
The only private hospital in Madhya Pradesh’s Sidhi district – Mishra Nursing Home Diagnostic Centre – owned by district BJP chief Dr. Rajendra Mishra has been allegedly denying treatment to Ayushman Bharat card holders.
Sidhi, a tribal-dominated district has 1.71 lakh Ayushman Bharat card holders, according to the data provided by the Sidhi district Ayushman Bharat office. Of which, total 1,054 people have been treated and claimed more than Rs 32 lakh: 950 patients are from government hospital and only 104 from Mishra Nursing Home.
Meanwhile, on Sunday, while addressing a rally in Gwalior in the same state, Prime Minister Narendra Modi attacked Congress by alleging that an Amethi hospital whose trustee is from the Gandhi family denied treatment to a person because he was carrying Ayushman Bharat card given by his government.
However, the curious case of the only private hospital in the Vindhyan district of Sidhi portrays a very different case. A local journalist from Sidhi, Jaganath Dwivedi claimed, “There are multiple reports that the hospital denies treatment to Ayushman Bharat Card holders. As soon as any patient walks in with a Ayushman Bharat Health Card, the hospital offers them two options: either pay the bills now and the hospital will return the money once it receives payment from the government, or go to the district government hospital.”
“Besides, Mishra owns a government license to run a generic medicine store, but never sells anything from it,” Jagannath added.
Requesting anonymity, a 55-year-old tribal patient said, “I have infection my lungs due to smoking. After spending two weeks at the government hospital, I went to Mishra Nursing home but they asked for payment.”
He further said, “When I showed them my Ayushman Bharat card, a man on the reception counter said that it wouldn’t work there, and I will have to pay if I wish to get treated.”
When contacted, Rajendra Mishra’s son Anoop Mishra, who runs the nursing home claimed, “The payment is too slow and the packages made under the scheme is unrealistic that the hospitals are forced to deny treatment. Suppose, a patient suffering from a fatal injury walks in to our hospital, the patient needs urgent attention. So, we call the doctors and arrange medicines, but, if the patient is carrying an Ayushman Bharat card, who will pay the bills?”
Mishra claimed that the hospital had received the first payment of around Rs 3 lakh between January-February of this year and nearly Rs 4 lakh is still due.
On being asked about the allegation of denying treatment to patients he said, “This is not entirely true.”
Commenting over the issue, Ayushman Bharat District Coordinator Bhuwan Mohan Sahu said, “This is true. Payment under the scheme is slow and hospitals have been complaining for it. Till date 1,054 patients have claimed money under the scheme and most of them are unpaid.”
This is not the condition of Sidhi alone. Even in Gwalior, where the Prime Minister made this statement, private hospitals and nursing homes have been denying treatment or charging for treatment despite having Ayushman Bharat card, as per local reports. Either, they are unhappy with the packages offered under the scheme or face delays in repayment by the government.