Karnataka: Private hospitals struggle to pay staff as they await Govt reimbursement claims
Bengaluru: The private hospitals in Karnataka are in dilemma as to how to manage the expenses as they have not received any reimbursement money from the government for the COVID-19 treatment yet.
Citing the instance of influenza A H1NI situation, the hospitals have claimed that it is becoming extremely difficult for them to pay salaries to staff and to buy other necessary medical instruments as they have not received any reimbursement money from the government for the COVID-19 purpose.
According to a recent media report, the private hospitals added that 11 years ago, there was a similar situation when influencer A H1N1 outbroke in Bengaluru, the government had suggested that people with symptoms should get tested for the disease in private hospitals. But the private hospitals are yet to get the money back from the government for H1N1 testing.
The authorities of the private facilities also stated that they have approached several authorities with the request of releasing funds to clear their dues. However they have not received any proper explanation or response from the authority concerned, in fact when they protested on the issue and raised queries, they were allegedly threatened by the authorities that they would be booked under the Disaster Management Act.
Elaborating on their plight, they also stated that with the increasing cases of COVID-19, and with no reimbursement money the small medical facilities are more likely to get shut.
For instance, private hospitals are fearing that the Karnataka government may write off their reimbursement claims.
Meanwhile, some of the private hospitals have given confirmation that they have received the first tranche of reimbursement on August 27. One of the private facilities in Rajajinagar claimed that they have only received 1.5 lakh out of the 40 lakh which they are yet to receive after treating 88 of the COVID-19 patients referred by the government facilities.
Notably, a delegation from PHANA, which has 384 member hospitals, is to visit SAST to talk about the issue of the delay.
A meeting of the executive committee of private hospital and nursing homes association was held on August 27 night where the economic crisis of the private hospitals and their inability to pay the salaries of the staff have been discussed.
One of the doctors and the owner of a nursing Home in South Bengaluru told TOI that "as we are COVID hospitals non-covid patients are not coming in. Half of our beds allotted for the government are largely empty and we cannot allow them to other patients. Our staff is ideal, but we have to pay them their salaries. Unless the government pays the dues, it would be difficult to pay the August salaries of our staff and clear the dues of vendors."