New Delhi, Apr 10 (PTI) Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Health Authority (NHA) has launched a drive to temporarily empanel private hospitals under the Ayushman Bharat scheme to ensure continuation of treatments for serious cases such as cancer and cardiac ailments.
This is the Centre's follow-up call to its recent decision of bringing COVID-19 testing and treatment under the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) carried out according to protocols and guidelines issued by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the Union health ministry.
In a statement, the NHA said in the current situation of novel coronavirus outbreak, many medical colleges, civil and district hospitals, which were otherwise treating a bulk of AB-PMJAY patients, are being converted to dedicated COVID-19 facilities in states.
'With the launch of this new mechanism called Hospital Empanelment Module (HEM) Lite, patients suffering from serious illnesses, such as cancer, cardiac issues and diabetes that require continuous treatment, will be able to continue getting inpatient services without the fear of contracting the infection,' it said.
The mechanism will also help in empanelling dedicated COVID-19 hospitals as well. Hospitals can empanel themselves temporarily for three months through a user-friendly online system available on the AB-PMJAY website.
Dr Indu Bhushan, the CEO of Ayushman Bharat PMJAY and NHA said, 'As part of our effort to enhance our capacity for serving beneficiaries of AB-PMJAY, we have designed and launched express empanelment of private hospitals on a temporary basis to strengthen providing of care under the scheme.' 'We have started reaching out to the states, hospital associations and healthcare industry bodies with this new proposal to bring on board private hospitals through a simple, quick and seamless system on a temporary basis. These hospitals have a choice whether to provide regular treatment for serious illnesses such as cancer and cardiac illnesses under the scheme or convert themselves into COVID-19-only hospitals,' the official said.
State Health Agency (SHA), the apex body of state governments responsible for the implementation of AB-PMJAY will sign a memorandum of understanding with express empanelled hospitals for three months only.
After this period, the SHA can continue with the empanelment on mutual agreement between hospital and the SHA but only after the detailed empanelment process is followed, according to a NHA statement.
As on date more than 8,804 private hospitals are empanelled under AB-PMJAY across the country and account for 51 per cent of all treatments and 64 per cent of hospital admissions. PTI PLB NSD