Srinagar, Oct 6: Internet blackout has severely hit Centre’s flagship Ayushman Bharat Health scheme in the state.
Under this scheme, over 30,439 patients have been registered for treatment in the state. So far Rs 20.2 crore has been spent on the treatment of registered patients.
However, since August 5, there has been a steep drop in the cases being recorded online following the internet blackout. Official data reveals that in June, there were 6,144 hospitalizations with pre-authorized amount to the tune of RS 2.67 crore, which increased by 16 per cent in July to 7,391 hospitalizations with pre-authorized amount of Rs 3.18 crore.
Official estimates show a declining trend in August. At least 2,424 cases were processed under the scheme, with Jammu accounting for 897, Kashmir 1,500 and Ladakh 27. This includes both updated online and offline data gathered by the establishment.
“We have been repeatedly approaching the administration for the restoration of lease line services. We need to clear pending cases under national health scheme, but, so far, nothing has been done so far,” said an official of the Health Department.
Bajaj Allianz is the insurance service provider for Ayushman Bharat Health scheme in J&K. Its office has a dedicated BSNL lease line, which provides internet connectivity. However, hospitals do not have a lease line. In absence of internet, the company has asked hospitals to come to their Srinagar office and physically upload insurance related documents.
“The approval for setting up dedicated lease lines in district hospitals of J&K is pending. Right now, our hospitals are working on broadband, which is currently down,” said a senior official of Health Department.
Farooq Jan, Medical Superintendent of SKIMS, told The Kashmir Monitor that the number of patients applying for treatment under the national health schemes have decreased due to internet lockdown. “Now we are trying to send the patients to the insurance companies and get them registered. We have requested the authorities to give us lease line connection and we are expecting a response within a day or so,”
A senior official of Health Department said they have raised the issue with the authorities. “We are well aware about the problems people are facing due to internet lockdown. We hope internet services are provided to health department so that patients do not suffer,” he added.