rs500Prime Minister Narender Modi’s announcement threw a net of confusion over private hospitals about the use of the demonetised 500 and 1000 notes for treatment.

The PM clearly mentioned that these notes can be produced at hospitals to pay for treatment. However, not all hospital administrations seemed convinced if they should accept payment through demonetised notes.

“There seems to be lack of clarity over the use of these notes in hospitals. We will wait for the fine print before we know we can use these notes. Else, we may ask patients to pay through check instead of cash,” said Dr. B. Bhaskar Rao, CEO of KIMS Hospital.

Others however said they would continue accepting these notes but will have to strengthen their accounting. “These notes will be accepted but the accounting has to be strengthened as depositing the money requires producing proof,” said Dr. Narasinga Reddy, President of Medical Council of India’s Telangana wing. Dr. Reddy also lauded PM’s announcement and said it would help arrest corruption in medical business.

Many Hospitals refused to accept the demonetization  notes. A press release issued by the Fortis  Healthcare stated, “.. at Fortis hospitals across the country, we continue to accept payments through credit card, debit card and electronic banking transfers. As 500 and 1000 Rupee denomination notes are no longer legal tender we are only accepting 100 Rs and lower currency notes. As per Government regulation, a PAN card and legitimate ID proof is however required for payments in cash exceeding R 50,000s …

There were many hospitals that continued to accept the currency notes, but confusion still prevailed on account of how they will be deposited. The Manipal group was accepting cash, reports HT , but with an identify proof. “Banks are closed today. (So) we are accepting money with ID proof and signature and will deposit (cash) with bank tomorrow. If bank rejects then the patients have to come back and pay,” said Ranjan R Pai, managing director & chief executive of Manipal Education and Medical Group

Fortis group has also written to the government to allow private hospitals to accept the demonetised notes as is allowed for the government hospitals. “.. In view of the hardship being caused to the large number of patients at private hospitals, we have made an urgent representation to the Government that this exemption should apply equally, for payments, at private hospitals.We are following up with the authorities and hope the Government will step in quickly to resolve this anomaly,” a Fortis release said

Worst hit by the situation have been the private practitioners, who based on the government directive could not accept the currency notes, and were in a tricky situation with not having the POS credit/debit card machines at their clinics. With the mounting confusion, many stayed away from work today. Speaking to Medical Dialogues team, Dr Rakesh Gupta, President, Delhi Medical Association said, ” Many clinics were shut today,  given the fact that doctors could not accept the currency notes did not have the credit card machines at their clinics. Moreover, those who did open, faced a lot of heat from the patients to accept Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes. ” Doctors, at the same time came out in support of the Government’s move.   ” We request all doctors to act on faith and provide treatment to patients in the coming few days, with less focus on economic considerations for now.  We are quite sure that the situation is going to improve in the coming days, ” Dr Rakesh  Gupta, said.

Read more at Medical Dialogues: Confusion prevails on healthcare delivery as Government bans Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes http://medicaldialogues.in/confusion-prevails-on-healthcare-delivery-as-government-bans-rs-500-and-rs-1000-notes/