Funds released, police gain access to medical services


The emblem of the Karnataka State Police

Bangalore’s police will once again have access to costly medical procedures after a two-year gap in services caused by Karnataka State Police officials balking at payment rates and false hospital bills.

However, they may have to wait six months to access the major services under the Arogya Bhagya Yojana scheme, said Ravindranath G, section superintendent with the grievances department that handles the Arogya Bhagya scheme for the Karnataka State Police.

At a Sept. 4 meeting in Bangalore, Om Prakash, director general of the Karnataka State Police and head of the Karnataka Police Health Welfare Trust, and representatives of the group of hospitals that fulfil the scheme came to an agreement on payment for major medical procedures.

The Karnataka state government blocked payments to the hospitals in 2013 after suspicions arose over fake medical reimbursement bills submitted by K.R Hospital in Bangalore, prompting an audit that same year.

B.G.S Global Hospital pulled out of the scheme, citing losses, said Prabu, an insurance officer with the hospital.

The scheme, which started off with 83 network hospitals, expanded to 126 hospitals, Ravindranath added. It is supposed to provide health care benefits and insurance to police officers and their families.

In the past two years, officers were able to access smaller medical services under the scheme. However, some officers who have used the service criticize it.

“The hospitals turn us away.” said an officer who wished to be unnamed. Several officers also said that the hospitals cite lack of beds to accommodate them.

“There are many hospitals listed under the scheme but not all of them take us, only small clinics treat us,” said a traffic constable who wished to be unnamed.

The hospitals under the scheme opposed the rates at which they have to provide services, Ravindranath said. The rates are decided by the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS), Bangalore under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. The state government has no say in the rates.



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