Soon, Pay Hospital Bills Via Mobile Wallet Platforms
Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has directed all the states to opt for cashless modes of transactions and to use mobile wallets for payments at government hospitals across the countryOnline and mobile transactions would soon become a common mode of payment at government hospitals across the country. The credit goes to demonetization following which the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has directed all the states to opt for cashless modes of transactions such as mobile wallets like paytm, Mobikwik, Oxygen wallet and PayPal etc.Having shown inability to handle the hassles faced by patients in private and government hospitals, Union Health Ministry has already reached out to Finance Ministry seeking a solution to the problem; meanwhile they are finding ways to ease out the situation.We had directed all the states to accept old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes till November 24, 2016 as per the direction of Finance Ministry. Following an extension from Finance Ministry, though public hospitals will accept only Rs 500 notes till December 15, 2016, the challenge stands tall. We are aware that public is facing problems but we have to abide by the directives of Finance Ministry, said Dr Arun K Panda, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.We cannot device our own directives in this situation. We have already requested the hospitals to accept cheques and demand drafts. We have asked them to use other modes of payments also. Gradually, everything will settle down. We appeal people not to panic, he said.The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) has already started using Paytm and other wallets for transactions in the Out Patient Department (OPD)s. Interestingly, the hospital will have kiosks near OPDs where volunteers will guide and teach patients how to use their mobiles for making payment.In government hospitals, OPD charges are already minimal. People come to AIIMS from faraway places, it is always better to go for cashless payments due to varied reasons. Mobile technology is being used at its best, said Dr D K Sharma, Medical Superintendant and Head, Hospital Administration, AIIMS.The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has also issued an advisory for hospitals in interest of patients. According to the advisory, all doctors in practice should accept cheques and if facility available credit or debit cards. Most bank account holders have access to ATM cards. All private hospitals and medical stores should consider installing card payment machine and also most big hospitals have banks within their premises. Hospitals should also consider taking available money as advance at admission with an undertaking.Private hospitals have also become in tune to the current situation. We being a corporate hospital, receive patients that already have health insurance. As far as foreign patients are concerned, embassies are in touch with our relative teams. We already have online banking facilities. There was a minor problem earlier, but now it is running smoothly, said Dr Anupam Sibal, Group Medical Director, Apollo Hospitals.