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Central Government Health Scheme

Context:

The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare recently hiked consultation charges and room rents under the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS).

Relevance:

GS II: Health

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Details
  2. Central Government Health Scheme

Details:

  • The Health Ministry has announced the revision of Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) package rates for all CGHS beneficiaries in India.
  • The consultation fee for out-patient department (OPD) and in-patient department (IPD) has been increased to ₹350 from ₹150.
  • Intensive Care Unit (ICU) charges have also been revised to ₹5,400.
  • The referral process under CGHS has been simplified, and a video call facility has been offered to the benefit of its employees.
  • The revision is expected to provide better health care services to CGHS beneficiaries and improve their experience with the scheme.
  • The increase in consultation fees, ICU charges, and room rent may lead to increased expenses for those availing of CGHS services.
  • Although the revision is intended to cover the rising costs of healthcare, it may negatively affect the affordability of healthcare for some.

Central Government Health Scheme

CGHS (Central Government Health Scheme) is a healthcare scheme provided by the Indian Central Government to its employees, pensioners, and their dependents. It was established in 1954 with the objective of providing comprehensive and quality healthcare services to government employees and their families.

The facilities provided by CGHS are:
  • Outpatient department (OPD) treatment at its wellness centers, including the issuance of medicines.
  • Specialist consultation at polyclinics, government hospitals, and CGHS-enrolled hospitals with a referral from CGHS.
  • OPD and inpatient treatment at government and enrolled hospitals with cashless treatment facilities for pensioners and identified beneficiaries in impaneled hospitals and diagnostic centers.
  • Reimbursement for treatment expenses incurred in government or private hospitals in case of an emergency.
  • Reimbursement for expenses incurred for the purchase of hearing aids, artificial limbs, and appliances after obtaining permission.
  • Maternity and child health services, family welfare, and medical consultation.
  • Dispensing of medicines in Ayurveda, Homeopathy, Unani, and Siddha system of medicines (AYUSH).

CGHS has approximately 42 lakh beneficiaries covered across 79 cities in India, and the scheme is continuously expanding to include more cities to improve accessibility to its services.

-Source: The Hindu


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