In an attempt to ensure better quality health care for serving and retired central government employees, hospitals empanelled under the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) have been urged to seek certification from the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers (NABH).
Out of 66 such hospitals and diagnostic centres in the city, only 16 have NABH certification. Several others are in the process of applying.
“We have already extended the deadline for hospitals and health care organisations empanelled under CGHS to apply for an inspection by the Quality Council of India,” K M Biswas, additional director general of CGHS based Pune, said.
The CGHS is a welfare scheme under Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, aimed at providing comprehensive medical facilities to the central government employees (serving and retired), their family members and other entitled categories for a token contribution. In Pune, there are 1.02 lakh beneficiaries enrolled under the CGHS. There are nine CGHS wellness centres and one polyclinic in the city, besides empanelled hospitals.
“NABH puts a lot of emphasis on patient safety aspects. There are designated standards dealing with patient rights and quality assurance for laboratory services, radiology services and hospital infection control,” Dr Sanjay Lalwani, medical director of Bharati hospital, said. “We are in the process of applying for NABH certification,” Lalwani said.
Among the few hospitals in the city certified by NABH are Ruby Hall Clinic, Jehangir hospital, Noble hospital and National Institute of Opthalmology.
Officials at Rao nursing home, which has received NABH certification and is also empanelled under CGHS, said it was about adopting a patient-centric approach.
Getting an NABH certification makes the hospital upgrade its systems, staff and take care of minute details to improve quality of care, Dr H K Sale, executive director of Noble hospital, said.
Delay in payment to hospitals
While CGHC-empanelled hospitals have welcomed the move to make NABH certification mandatory, they also complain about delay in payments for their services. “Time and again, we have been requesting for payment for treatment for CGHS patients. Even payments under insurance schemes related to ex-servicemen and policemen have not been made to us,” said Ruby Hall Clinic CEO Bomi Bhote, adding that the amount due to the hospital was over Rs 20 crore. “How can we keep treating patients under these schemes?” he asked.
At Noble hospital too, the outstanding amount to be paid to the hospital is more than Rs 1 crore while Rao nursing home is yet to receive Rs 4 crore.
CGHS officials have sent letters to Pune Municipal Commissioner, Director General of All India Radio, Central Water and Power Research Station (CWPRS) and other central government departments to allocate some space for two of its wellness centres. In Pune, CGHS has nine wellness centres – at Akurdi, Mangalwar Peth, Hidayatullah road, Yerawada, near Gole market, Range Hills Estate, Mukund Nagar, Shukrawar Peth and G T street at Camp – catering to about one lakh beneficiaries. Proposals to shift its dispensaries at Camp and at Bajirao Road to other locations at Hadapsar and Khadakwasla have been pending for a long time.