October 08, 2011

Aarogyasri lays thrust on govt hospitals

The Aarogyasri Health Care Trust, set up by the Andhra Pradesh government four years ago to facilitate implementation of health insurance to the poor, is planning to focus more on government hospitals over private hospitals. The trust has already de-listed 97 private hospitals due to lack of infrastructure facilities and for not following the stipulated guidelines. Under the Aarogyasri scheme, the state government allocates Rs 1,400 crore every year, of which 40 per cent is mandated to be spent on government hospitals and the rest on private hospitals. The ratio of allocation of the budget to government and private hospitals was 17:83 last year. It has been increased to 27:73 in the last two-three months. “We are aiming at achieving the target of 40:60 ratio by the end this financial year,” said N Srikanth, chief executive officer of the trust. The Aarogyasri scheme covers 938 therapies for the 80-million population of the state. Around 350 hospitals in the state were registered under the scheme, of which 240 are private. Around 75 per cent of the country’s total population live in small towns and rural areas, whereas more than 80 per cent of medical care facilities are in urban areas. And, 90 per cent people need primary healthcare. Healthcare and administrative costs have gone up in recent years, and it would be difficult to sustain the scheme with the budget, Srikanth said. To address the future issues, the state government has proposals to rope in the Administrative Staff College of India or the Public Health Foundation of India to do the feasible study and come up with a sustainable report to reduce costs. “We are making a questionnaire to mandate the study. We will finalise the organisation in the next 7-8 months,” Srikanth said. Link: Original Article

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