The Health Ministry announced that it has revised the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) package rates for all CGHS beneficiaries and simplified the referral process under CGHS for the benefit of its employees by offering a video call facility.
- The Central government has increased the CGHS rates of consultation fees for the out-patient department (OPD)/in-patient department (IPD) to ₹350 from ₹150. Similarly, ICU charges have been revised to ₹5,400.
Implications of the Recent Changes Made in CGHS
- Healthcare Costs:
- The revision of CGHS package rates, including the increase in consultation fees, ICU charges, and room rent, will likely result in increased healthcare costs for beneficiaries. While the revised rates aim to cover the rising costs of healthcare services, the move may affect the affordability of healthcare for some.
- Access to Healthcare Services:
- The introduction of the video call referral process is expected to improve access to healthcare services under the CGHS, particularly for those who find it difficult to visit the Wellness Centre in person. It is also anticipated that this simplified process will enhance the efficiency of the CGHS by reducing delays and inconveniences for beneficiaries.
- CGHS is a comprehensive healthcare scheme provided by the Central Government to its employees, pensioners, and their dependents.
- It was established in 1954 with the aim of providing quality healthcare services to government employees and their families.
- Facilities Provided:
- Outpatient department (OPD) treatment at its wellness centres, which includes 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 impanelled hospitals and diagnostic centres
- 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 systems of medicines (AYUSH)
- Presently approximately 42 lakh beneficiaries are covered by CGHS in 79 cities all over India and the endeavour is to include more cities to improve the accessibility of the services.
Government Initiatives Related to Healthcare
- National Health Mission
- Ayushman Bharat
- Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY)
- PM National Dialysis Programme
- Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram (JSSK)
- Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK)