While the State Government is consistently seeking the support of doctors and hospitals in making the ambitious Ayushman Bharat Yojana a success in Jharkhand, a cardiac surgeon in Ranchi has gone out of his way to support Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of providing accessibility of expensive medical facilities to the poor.
Meet 54-year-old Dr Kunal Hazari, MS, MCh, who has successfully completed as many as 246 open heart surgeries in less than a year under the Ayushman Bharat Yojana.
Hazari, the Vice Chairman of Medica Superspecialty Hospital near Booty More, believes that every doctor should be accountable for the health of people living in the country.
“We are all accountable for the health of our citizens – the government, the hospitals and the doctors,” Hazari said. The 246 surgeries that he performed includes Bypass Grafting, Valve replacements, Tetrology under Ayushman Bharat till now, Dr. Hazari started operating cases under this scheme from October 2018. Since then the graph of patients getting treatment under this scheme has just gone up. Today, out of every 40 patients he operates monthly, at least 35 are covered under this programme.
The scheme provides a cover of Rs 5 lakh per family annually for 10 crore poor and vulnerable families.
The beneficiary under this programme can undertake cashless benefits from public and private hospitals across the country. While Private versus Public Hospitals spark an endless debate in terms of facilities and also the eligibility to cover Ayushman Bharat patients, all the hospitals in the nation are accountable to treat patients under this scheme,said Hazari.
“If you are to provide healthcare facility, all the government hospitals need to be strengthened and equipped. Healthcare of its people is the liability of the Government,”he said.
The system or the chain of procedures for getting covered under the scheme is simple and requires the patients to have a ration card which in turn is needed to generate golden cards — a facility available at the hospitals.
“The procedure and paper work involved has become so systematic and mechanised that now as doctors we can really focus on treating the patients. It also saves time. Talking about cardiac surgeries, time loss is equivalent to muscle loss,” said Dr Hazari.
The golden cards can be generated within half an hour after producing the ration cards meanwhile the patients can be admitted and the treatment procedures can start, he said.
The hospitals are known to receive funds from the Government within the stipulated time.
“Ayushman Bharat is much simpler for both patients and hospitals compared to the earlier BPL healthcare programme. The simple paperwork, systematic checking of facts post treatment, clearing of payments have all cumulatively built trust among private hospitals and doctors. The trend shows that they are taking it up now,” told Dr Hazari on the current scenario of the programme in the State Capital.
The programme cannot be fully crowned as a success as it has its own set of lacunas. Regularised price slabs for a certain type of medical procedure is one of the major issues that has to be resolved.
“With patients the treatment gets customised according to their body response, one patient can take five days to get discharged while others may take up to 10 days and one price bar cannot accommodate both. We are constantly trying to find solution to this gap,” said Dr Hazari who is also a member of Ayushman Bharat board for the state of Jharkhand.
There is a motion to increase the flexibility of the amount by 10 to 15 per cent.
“The satisfaction I get after treating the needy patients is the prime incentive for being an active force in this scheme by the PM for a healthy nation. Finance always comes secondary,” said Hazari.
The enthusiasm of government, doctors and the public is required for this scheme to be a success, government’s feedback and check system being the major drivers of the movement, he added.