Union Heath Minister Harsh Vardhan
Union Heath Minister Harsh Vardhan
Image source: ANI

New Delhi: The names of over 100 hospitals found involved in malpractices have been put up on the official website of the Ayushman Bharat health insurance scheme as part of the government's "name and shame" initiative to create deterrence among healthcare establishments, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Monday. Addressing the 'Arogya Manthan' organised on the first anniversary of Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojna (AB-PMJAY), Vardhan said the government is also planning to implement a "name and fame" initiative to felicitate hospitals performing well under the scheme.

"As part of the government's zero-tolerance towards corruption, names of 111 hospitals which have been de-empanelled after they were found involved in some kind of fraudulent activity or malpractices have been put up on the official website of the AB-PMJAY as a part of our 'name and shame' initiative. We are now also planning to implement a 'name and fame' initiative to felicitate those hospitals which are performing well under the scheme so that their best practices can be emulated by others," Vardhan said.

The 'Arogya Manthan' was organised by the the National Health Authority (NHA), the apex body implementing the scheme. The minister said a strong fraud prevention, detection and control system is proving to be critical for PMJAY to ensure that frauds are prevented and even if they are attempted, they are quickly detected and strong action is taken. Nearly 1,200 cases of fraud have been confirmed and action has been taken against 338 hospitals in the AB-PMJAY, Vardhan had said, adding that FIRs have been lodged against six and penalties amounting to over Rs 1.5 crore have been levied.

Vardhan said 32 states and Union territories have already implemented the scheme. He expressed sadness over the remaining four states which have not implemented the scheme because of which its citizens are not able to reap the the scheme's benefits. The health minister also congratulated the people who played major roles in conceptualising and implementing the scheme according to Prime Minister's vision with the use of technology and science to ensure that its benefits reach people living in the remote corners of the country.

"These soldiers and innovative minds will discuss the achievements and the shortcomings of the scheme which was launched last year. They will also deliberate on ways to make it state-of-the art programme and strong IT enabled," he said. With NHA's governing board recently overhauling the existing health benefits packages and rationalising their costs to remove any aberrations, most of the demands of the private sector has been met, he said.

Since the launch of PMJAY on September 23, 2018, more than 47 lakh hospital treatments worth over Rs 7,500 crore have been carried out. Of the total amount utilised, 55 per cent has been on tertiary procedures. In addition, over 10 crore beneficiary cards have been issued and the government has so far spent Rs 7,500 crore on treatment of patients under the scheme. As many as 18,073 hospitals and healthcare providers have been empanelled across the country and of these, 53 per cent are private.

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