Aizawl: Non-Governmental Hospital Association of Mizoram (NGHAM), an umbrella body of all private and church-run hospitals in the state, on Friday expressed their willingness to implement a health care scheme.

There was misunderstanding and heated exchange between the state government and private hospitals after the state government had suspended the empanelment of more than 15 private church-run hospitals for allegedly refusing to implement the Mizoram State Health Care Scheme (MSHCS) in December last year.

Officials of state health department said that the NGHAM after its meeting on Friday informed health minister Dr R Lalthangliana of its willingness to implement the healthcare scheme.

They said that the decision of the association follows an appeal from the health minister.

Lalthangliana had earlier appealed to the association to implement the state healthcare scheme by following the government’s notified rate for medical expense to be charged from patients.

Sources said that the meeting of NGHAM on Friday deliberated about the health’s minister appeal as a result of which a consensus decision was taken to implement the healthcare scheme.

The association also asked the health minister to lift the suspension of its 18 members (hospitals).

Meanwhile, Lalthangliana held an emergent meeting with health department officials to discuss about the development. He also asked officials to take immediate action to withdraw the order, which suspended 18 private or church run hospitals.

Lalthangliana also lauded private hospitals for accepting his request to implement the state healthcare scheme. Moreover, he assured that the healthcare scheme would be reviewed on specific occasion to suit present situation.

On December 4 last year, the government had suspended the impalement of most of private hospitals for allegedly being reluctant to implement the healthcare scheme.

Opposition Congress had alleged that the government’s move had severely affected public as poor beneficiaries and government servants, who admitted in private hospital, could not claimed reimbursement.

On January 6, the government notified a rule, restricting disbursement of blood bags to private hospitals from government blood banks.

The move was seen by opposition and some NGOs as an attempt to force private hospitals to use government scheme.

However, the government denied the allegations citing the old system was medically unhealthy.

Earlier, Health minister Dr R Lalthangliana laid the foundation stone for a Rs 3-crore state drug test laboratory to be constructed at the new capital complex in Aizawl.

Laying the foundation stone, the minister highlighted the importance of having a state drug testing laboratory. Once the construction laboratory building is completed, the government will be able to test not only medicines but also food items imported from outside the state, he said.

Lalthangliana said that the government will also be able to manufacture medicines and food items in the state. He added that the hassle of sending food items and medicines to Guwahati for laboratory test, which is time-consuming, will be a thing of the past.

Currently, Mizoram has a small and unsophisticated drug testing laboratory which is not sufficient to meet the requirements.

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