The Gujarat government has suspended Kiran Multi Super Specialty hospital & Research Centre from its panel of hospitals entitled to treat patients under its Ma Amrutam (MA) and Ma Vatsalya schemes and under the Centre’s Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY). The suspension was ordered with effect from October 8, after it was found that the hospital was charging fees from beneficiaries who were to receive free treatment.
The hospital claims that the suspension has been revoked, but government officials have not yet confirmed it.
Kiran hospital at Katargam in Surat was empanelled under the PMJAY, Ma Amrutam and Ma Vatsalya schemes that offer free treatments, including diagnostic tests, to patients entitled to benefits under the schemes. Under the scheme, hospitals are paid directly by the government for the cashless services they provide beneficiaries.
Following a complaint by some patients that they were being charged for pre-surgery tests, state Health Commissionerate Additional Director Dr M D Sukhanandi issued a letter on October 7 to the project head of healthcare services company MDIndia NetworX Ltd to suspend Kiran hospital from the PMJAY and MA schemes.
A copy of the letter, which is with The Indian Express, states, “…this office has received multiple complaints regarding money collection from the AB-PMJAY and MA patients admitted in Kiran Multi Super Specialty hospital & Research Centre, Surat.” The letter states that Kiran hospital is to be suspended from 08.10.2019 and that all claim payments to the hospital from the date are to be stopped. “The hospital shall not be able to register new patients but needs to process claims of patients admitted till 07.10.2019,” it states, adding, “Kindly take necessary action with immediate effect and issue suspension letter to Kiran Multi Super Specialty Hospital and Research Centre, Surat.”
Kiran hospital’s foundation stone was laid in 2013 by then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and it was inaugurated in 2017 by Modi as prime minister. The hospital is run by Samast Patidar Arogya Trust.
The hospital’s trustees and chairman have contacted the health commissionerate to get the suspension cancelled. They have also put up banners on the hospital premises stating that treatment under PMJAY and MA would continue.
Chairman of the hospital Mathur Sawani claimed that some of the patients had “wrongly briefed’ officials of the health commissionerate. “There was some misunderstanding, which we have cleared with the health commissionerate officials, following which they have revoked the decision of suspending the license of the hospital and have told us to go ahead with medical services under PMJAY and MA schemes,” Sawani told The Indian Express. “On an average around 3,500 patients undergo treatment in our hospital and we cover them under PMJAY schemes and other schemes. Some of the patients wrongly briefed the health commissionerate officials (that the hospital charged them for tests).”
State Health Commissione-rate Additional Director Dr Sukhanandi could not be reached for comment.