Chandigarh/August 21: The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today termed the state government’s recently launched the Sarbat Health Insurance Scheme as “the biggest fraud played on 46 lakh families of the state”, saying that the beneficiaries were deceived by the government with its ill-conceived order of providing the treatment of 124 major diseases only at the government health centers.
In a statement here, SAD senior Vice president and Spokesperson Dr. Daljit Singh Cheema disclosed that the people of the state as well as the state government were well aware of the fact that except a few medical colleges and hospitals situated in big cities, the standard of medical care facilities being provided at the government hospitals across the state was not considered satisfactory as these health centers were battling with the acute shortage of faculty, Para-medical staff as well as basic infrastructure.
“The government has completely left the patients of 124 major ailments at the mercy of these ill-equipped health care centers, besides making this insurance scheme useless for the poor patients who were eagerly waiting to get free quality health care services” he stated, adding that if the government health care centers were well-equipped and efficient for providing the best medical care facilities, why people prefer to get treated at private hospitals?
Dr. Cheema further added that the Punjab government has issued an advisory for 124 diseases, suggesting that in a case of emergency, the patients have to take to the government health center first and if the doctor gives it in writing that they are not medically-equipped for their treatment, then the patients would be referred to the other big government hospital.”
Everybody knows that no doctor found at night in the 250 government-run hospitals which means the patients would have suffered all night to get doctor ‘referral for shifting them to a better hospital,” he lamented, adding that even the general surgery can be performed only at government hospitals under this scheme.
He astonished that despite the fact that the people avoid going to government hospitals even for the minor surgeries, the government wants to see people treating themselves in the government health care centers for everything ailment including high-risk delivery, cesarean section, and removal of Uterus.
The SAD leader said that it was strange that the government has earmarked the government hospitals for treating the mental disorder cases when it was a well-known fact that the government does not have enough number of doctors in its neurosciences department to tackle the drug addiction problem in the state.
Dr. Cheema further apprised that surgeries for the cataract and glaucoma diseases- usually an ailment found in old people- can also be performed at government hospitals only. He pointed out that everyone knows about the scarcity of eye-surgeons in government hospitals. He said the government has played a cruel joke on the poor by earmarking the treatment of a large number of diseases at government-run hospitals under this scheme.
“The Government has authorized only 250 government-run hospitals for treating around 46 lakh people of their 124 diseases. This is not fair. Although, the amount being provided under Bhagat Puran Singh Insurance scheme was Rs. 50,000 during the erstwhile SAD-BJP government, but patients had freedom to go to any hospital listed in the panel for better treatment,” he disclosed, adding that now patients have to go through a lot of mental and physical harassment to get doctor’s referral for getting treated at private hospitals, besides doctors would hesitate to give it in writing that their hospitals were not medically well equipped.
Dr. Cheema demanded that the Punjab government should immediately remove the condition of seeking doctor’s referral for shifting the patient from government hospital to private hospital so that patients could get better and hassle-free treatment from their choice of health care centers.