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Patients suffer as Golden Cards not accepted at many private hospitals in Kupwara 

Post by Umar Raina on Friday, November 18, 2022

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Kupwara, Nov 17: Patients in Kupwara district have complained that the majority of this north Kashmir district’s private hospitals do not accept Golden Cards, making it difficult for them to take advantage of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY), also known as the Ayushman Bharat Yojana Scheme.
Scores of patients from the Kupwara and Handwara areas complained that for the last four months, they have been forced to travel out of the district for surgeries. They said only general surgeries are covered by these health cards in Kupwara, and for other surgeries like ENT, etc., they have to visit out of the district to avail of such facilities.
Bashir Ahmad of Mawer told Rising Kashmir that when he received the Golden Card last year and after listening to its benefits, he felt like it was help from God. “My daughter recently had some ENT issues, and doctors advised her to have immediate surgery. I thought I would use her Ayushman Bharat card for her treatment, but it was of no use,” he said.
He said a private hospital in Handwara too didn’t accept the Golden Card which left him in distress. “The private hospital administration advised me to go to a Srinagar hospital where this card would be accepted,” the disappointed father said.
The Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY), popularly known as the Ayushman Bharat Yojana Scheme, is the flagship scheme of the Government of India. It is essentially a health insurance scheme to cater to the poor, lower sections of society, and the vulnerable population. The scheme offers financial protection in the event of hospitalization due to medical emergencies.
State Medical Officer Ayushman Bharat Khurshid Ahmad Khan told Rising Kashmir that they have barred other surgeries in Kupwara hospitals as they lack the infrastructure which, as per criteria, is needed. The officer, however, said that they will look into the matter in the coming days.
The sources in the medical department told Rising Kashmir that “the hospitals in the frontier district were performing the highest number of surgeries, which is the main reason that the department has barred other surgeries there”.
The patients from this frontier town said they were able to use the facilities on Golden Cards for the previous four months, but at present, they are no longer able to avail of the benefits.
“How is this possible that four months ago, the private hospitals in Kupwara and Handwara met the criteria, and now suddenly they don't,” they questioned.
Showket Ahmad, a native of Villgam, said private hospitals in Kupwara have the “latest gadgets”, and authorities should allow them to perform other surgeries to provide major relief to patients of this frontier district.
The patients in this border area have petitioned Lieutenant Governor Monoj Sinha to direct the relevant department to allow these hospitals to perform additional surgeries on Golden Cards.

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