Healthcare services under Telangana's Arogyasri scheme came to a halt on Friday as about 240 private hospitals in the state stopped providing services over non-payment of dues to the tune of Rs 1,500 crore by the state government.
Talks between Health Minister Etela Rajender and Telangana Network Hospitals Association (TNHA) failed to find a solution.
The minister said after the talks with representatives of TNHA that the dues amount to only Rs 600 crore and that the government will immediately release Rs 200 crore.
He said the decision on the demand to increase the charges for various services would be taken after consultation with Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao.
TNHA, however, maintained that the government has to pay dues to the tune of Rs 1,500 crore.
The hospitals stopped the services under Arogyasri, Employees' Health Scheme (EHS) and Journalists' Health Scheme (JHS).
TNHA made it clear that they will not resume the services till a clear assurance over payment of all dues.
Over 80 lakh Below Poverty Line (BPL) families are provided free healthcare facilities in private hospitals under Arogyasri, which was launched by the then Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy government in undivided Andhra Pradesh in 2007.
The network hospitals stopped the services on many occasions in the last four years over non-payment of dues.
They have also been demanding revision of the rates for various packages under the scheme.