The much-hyped health insurance scheme for the Below Poverty Line (BPL) families, Bhagat Pooran Singh Sehat Bima Yojna (BPSSBY), seems to be of no use to the beneficiaries because most of the private and even government institutions are reluctant to admit them.
At least this has been the case with Nishan Singh of Vallah who took his ailing mother, Balbir Kaur, to six of such institutions but none admitted her as a BPSSBY beneficiary.
However, all these hospitals were ready to admit her as a normal patient who would have to pay all the charges applicable as per the hospital rates, claimed Nishan Singh.He said her mother is suffering from some neurological problem.The hospitals visited by him included three private hospitals, Pulse Hospital, Janta Hospital and Jeevan Jyoti Hospital, two government hospitals, Jallianwala Bagh Martyrs Memorial Civil Hospital and Guru Nanak Dev Hospital associated with Government Medical College, and Sri Guru Ram Das Charitable Hospital run by the SGPC.
At last, Balbir Kaur was admitted to Guru Nanak Dev Hospital as a normal patient and not as a beneficiary of the scheme, which ensures cashless treatment of up to Rs 30,000 to the members of BPL families.
Officials at the Civil Hospital stated that they admit BPSSBY beneficiaries in routine.As the patient had a neurological problem, it might have happened that the on-duty doctors referred her to Guru Nanak Dev Hospital because we do not have the required facilities at the Civil Hospital, said an official.
At Guru Nanak Dev Hospital, medical superintendent Dr Ram Sarup Sharma said, The patients are not being admitted due to some technical issues. We have taken these up at the appropriate level and hopefully things would be sorted out soon.
The hospital does not have ‘card readers’ to verify the details of the beneficiary besides the system in which the insurer could transfer money for the treatment of the patients.
The hospital is also facing a problem as a ‘revolving fund’, which it uses for meeting expenses on the treatment of beneficiaries, is not in place.
The fund could help the hospital utilise the money for the treatment of patients which could be recovered from the insurer later on.
However, technical flaws in existence even during the second year of the scheme are a clear indication of the ‘seriousness’ towards the medical facilities for the poor.