Serving and retired government officials will be able to seek treatment at a wider pool of hospitals, as the rates of various procedures under the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) are going to be revised. Ruby Hall Clinic, which had not been empanelled with CGHS for the last one-and-a-half years, has sought a go-ahead to treat beneficiaries. “With the proposed revision of rates, we have decided to reconsider being empanelled and have applied to the health ministry,” said Bomi Bhote, CEO of Ruby Hall Clinic.
At Jehangir hospital, CEO George Eapen said they had received queries and requests from people pertaining to CGHS. Jehangir Hospital, along with KEM, Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital, Poona Hospital and Aditya Birla Hospital, had opted out of the empanelment scheme of CGHS as they didn’t agree with the earlier rates of treatment.
Eapen said they were considering a move to get re-empanelled as there was a demand from patients for the same. “The earlier treatment rates were too low… we will wait for the revised rate package… officially, we have not applied for being empanelled,” said Eapen. In the last one-and-a-half years, 46 hospitals and health care organisations empanelled with CGHS received over four extensions, and the latest one was till June 30 this year.
These included the National Institute of Ophthalmology, N M Wadia Institute of Cardiology, Lokmanya Hospital, Rao Nursing Home, Noble Hospital, H V Desai Eye Hospital, Ranka Hospital, Sancheti Institute of Joint Replacement and others.
Under the welfare scheme by the Centre, CGHS units in various cities provide medical care facilities to serving and retired central government employees, their family members, and other entitled categories, in exchange for a token contribution. The CGHS was introduced in Pune on July 17, 1978, and the city currently has nine wellness centres and one polyclinic.
There are 1.41 lakh CGHS beneficiaries in Pune, Dr K M Biswas, additional director, CGHS, Pune told The Indian Express. Hospitals that have a Quality Control of India certification can apply for the scheme, he said.
CGHS simplifies procedure for medical treatment
Since November last year, the treatment procedure has been simplified, with CGHS beneficiaries no longer requiring a referral letter to get admitted to the empanelled hospital. Earlier, CGHS beneficiaries were subjected to a long waiting period as they had to be registered with a CGHS dispensary, obtain a reference letter from the medical officer for a specific procedure and visit the government hospital specialist for his/her sanction. After the sanction, the letter again had to be submitted to the CGHS dispensary’s medical officer, following which the patient could be admitted to the private hospital empanelled under the scheme.
Under the current, simplified procedure, there is no requirement of a referral letter. Following the sanction by a specialist at a state government-run hospital, the CGHS beneficiary can undergo treatment at a private hospital empanelled with CGHS. An order had been issued in November last year and according to official data, there are 949 general hospitals, dental and eye care hospitals in the country under CGHS network.