Hospitals cheating Ayushman Bharat scheme will be named and shamed: govt

Harsh Vardhan
The government will "name and shame" hospitals found cheating the Ayushman Bharat health insurance scheme, said union minister Harsh Vardhan on Tuesday.

The government has found nearly 1,200 cases of fraud and taken action against 338 hospitals, said the health minister, asserting that the government has zero tolerance towards corruption.

"Not only would such hospitals found involved in any kind of fraudulent activity and practices would be de-empanelled, their names would be put up on the official website of Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojna (Ayushman Bharat) and made public. The idea is to name and shame them," he said at a press conference in Delhi.

Indu Bhushan, CEO of the National Health Authority, which is responsible for implementing the insurance scheme, said the decision to name hospitals was taken in collaboration with the IRDAI.

"We are taking stern action against such fraudsters and have filed criminal cases and FIRs in some cases. In fact, we have suggested such hospitals should not only be de-empanelled from the PMJAY scheme but also from other scheme including that of CGHS and ECHA," said Bhushan.

Vardhan said 376 hospitals are under investigation, 97 have been removed from the scheme and police complains have been lodged against six hospitals. A total amount of Rs 1.5 crore in penalty has been levied and nearly 1,200 cases of fraud have been confirmed.

"And all these figures show the government's zero tolerance towards corruption and we have been able to detect all these frauds because of a proactive robust strong IT anti-fraud detection system. Our message is loud and clear that no fraud, even of minute nature, will be tolerated in the whole scheme," he said.

Vardhan said the government's ambitious Ayushman Bharat scheme will complete first year of its launch on September 23 and the fortnight of September 15-30 is being marked as the 'Ayushman Bharat Pakhwara' where several activities will be carried out in the states to generate awareness around the scheme.

A mega national event 'Gyan Sangam' will be organised from September 29-30 during which the Prime Minister will take stock of the progress of the insurance scheme and its achievements will be highlighted.

Adopting the true spirit of cooperative federalism, 32 states and Union Territories have already implemented the scheme so far, Vardhan said and appealed to the remaining states including Delhi and West Bengal to join the scheme so that people there are not deprived of its benefits.

He said that 10 crore e-cards have been given out to beneficiaries and the government so far has spent Rs 7,500 crore on treatment. 18,073 hospitals have been empanelled and around 53 per cent the hospitals are from the private sector.

More than 39 lakh people have availed cashless treatment worth over Rs. 6,100 crore for serious illnesses since the launch of AB-PMJAY. This has resulted in savings of Rs 12,000 crore to the beneficiary families. 

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