The Rajasthan Government Health Scheme (RGHS) is currently grappling with a significant problem concerning payments to 4,564 medical stores across the state, with an excess of Rs 350 crores in arrears. This predicament has led to approximately 35.40 lakh families, which include 12,37,938 pensioners, encountering difficulties in procuring essential medicines from these medical stores. While some larger private medical stores continue to dispense medicines, smaller establishments have chosen not to participate in the program. This issue extends beyond just the medical stores under the scheme and affects consumer warehouses as well.
RGHS Medical Stores in Udaipur
In the city of Udaipur, where the RGHS is operational, there are 29 medical stores affiliated with consumer warehouses. These stores are facing a substantial backlog of over 12.75 crores in unpaid dues. Although a payment of approximately Rs 3.80 crores was made in September, subsequent payments have not been received. This situation has posed a significant challenge for beneficiaries and has severely impacted their ability to access important medications.
Medical stores encounter an additional challenge as a significant portion of the bills they submit are delayed or put on hold due to technical issues. This problem is especially pronounced for bills exceeding Rs 5,000. In Udaipur, where 150 medical stores participate in the scheme, there are over 28,000 pensioners who depend on its services.
Previously, medicines like iron supplements, multivitamins, and protein were not available through the online system. Now, even treatments related to skin diseases, cosmetic items, hair fall, and hair treatments are absent from the system. Private medical store’s owner, Surendra Godawat, operating near the MB Hospital, mentioned that despite having proper documentation and sealing, bills are being rejected in the system. Over the past few months, only a meager 5 to 10 percent of the total bills have been processed, and there are ongoing issues with larger bills that are being sent back for various reasons.
On the other hand, Aashutosh Bhatt, the Consumer Warehouse Manager, explained that payments were received in September. Efforts are being made to ensure that pensioners receive the majority of their medications from the consumer warehouse's medical stores.
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