Cardiologists’ body seeks review of Arogyasri rates

Cardiologists’ body seeks  review of Arogyasri rates
Highlights

The Arogyasri patients looking for cardiology procedures have been left in a quandary with the hospitals deciding to stall the services after the government slashed the tariff for coronary angioplasty from Rs 60,000 to Rs 40,000 (including implant of stent). The Cardiological Society of India (CSI), AP chapter, on Tuesday demanded the State government to rethink over the newly revised tariff rates of Arogyasri for cardiology services to Arogyasri patients in Hyderabad.b

  • Coronary angioplasty (including stent) rates reduced from Rs 60,000 to Rs40,000
  • Patients left in a quandary, as no cardiac-related surgeries since Monday
  • Doctors say that using cheap materials would endanger patients’ lives

The Arogyasri patients looking for cardiology procedures have been left in a quandary with the hospitals deciding to stall the services after the government slashed the tariff for coronary angioplasty from Rs 60,000 to Rs 40,000 (including implant of stent). The Cardiological Society of India (CSI), AP chapter, on Tuesday demanded the State government to rethink over the newly revised tariff rates of Arogyasri for cardiology services to Arogyasri patients in Hyderabad.

About 200 to 300 cardiology surgeries and other procedures take place per day under Arogyasri at 74 cardiology service centres across the State. However, since Monday there were no coronary angioplasty procedures in many hospitals, after a decision was taken on August 15 not to perform the procedures until the government enhanced the reduced tariff.

The members of CSI said the Andhra Pradesh Private Nursing Home Association (APNA) and Andhra Pradesh Super specialty Hospitals (ASHA) also extended their support and sent a memorandum to DME, Arogyasri Trust and other concerned departments of Health.

Speaking at a press meet, Dr(Col) M Sitaram , President of CSI, said the decision of not performing coronary angioplasty procedures was taken in the interests of patients’ welfare and to provide quality cardio-healthcare to the patients.

Terming the reduction of tariff as unscientific, Dr Sitaram said the financial constraints create severe bottlenecks to doctors while performing procedures on the patients. The material and equipment, especially the stents used in cardiac procedures should be of high quality, else opting cheaper alternatives would result in more cardiac problems and thus endangering the lives of the patients, he pointed out. Dr Sitaram further said that the cost of other medical procedures and equipment had also increased manifold in the last five years. Hence we are demanding 30 per cent increase to the pre-revised packages i.e to Rs 60,000, he added.

Another cardiologist Dr Ramesh said, “In a state where the cases of coronary artery disease are high among all sections of society, the Arogyasri scheme is really a great boon to the poor people. But we are dismayed with the State government’s recent act of slashing of tariff rates of Arogyasri. We are requesting the government to revise this decision as the procedure of coronary angioplasty contends with multiple technical problems like total occulusions, thrombus burden, multiple guide wires, guiding catheters and balloons. In this backdrop, the revised package of Rs 40,000 is insufficient to cover the costs of materials used in the procedure,”

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