Sanjiban Hospital, a 500-bed private healthcare unit in the Uluberia area of Howrah, has moved Calcutta High Court against the state government for non-payment of dues running into several crores of rupees under the Swasthya Sathi health scheme.
“We are forced to move the High Court because we have no other alternative to save the hospital at this time of huge financial crisis. Hope we will get justice from the honourable court,” Dr Subhashis Mitra, owner of the Sanjiban Hospital, told The Statesman.
Sources in the hospital said that the state government is yet to pay the huge amount of outstanding dues spent for the cashless treatment of thousands of patients, mainly Covid-19 affected cases under the Swasthya Sathi scheme, a dream project of the chief minister Miss Mamata Banerjee who also heads the health department.
It’s learnt that the hospital that had come up in 2012 on a no-loss-no-profit basis has been treating more than 6,000 Covid-19 patients since the pandemic hit Bengal during March-April in 2020.
It has the highest number of 150 beds in critical units (CCU) equipped with life-support devices including the same number of ventilators to treat the novel coronavirus patients.
“We have not yet stopped admissions of patients for cashless treatments under the state government health scheme. Now, we are in desperate need of our dues from the government,” a senior administrative officer of the hospital said.
Apart from the Sanjiban Hospital, many other premier private hospitals in the city and districts are also facing financial crisis allegedly because of non-payment of dues under the Swasthya Sathi, a subsidised state insurance plan that offers coverage of up to five lakh rupees annually.
Many of these private healthcare units have stalled admissions of patients under the scheme claiming ‘nonavailability of indoor beds’ since September. They say that due to low rates of the scheme a section of doctors are also reluctant to treat or perform surgeries on patients under the scheme.
The respective managements of these hospitals have already raised the issue in different meetings with the government at the state secretariat Nabanna and health department headquarters Swasthya Bhavan at Salt Lake seeking
release of their dues.