New Delhi: At least 20 Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) centres will be started for senior citizens in Delhi Sep 1 onwards for free consultation, a statement said Friday.
Unveiling a project with wide ramifications for the public healthcare, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan Friday said: "This is a pilot project for now. We will see how much demand accrues for the CGHS clinics and their ability to handle public demand before extending the service to more people in more cities."
There was a wide criticism of the CGHS' closed door policy towards people in need of medical help, who were not family members of the central government employees.
The service for senior citizens will be available on all working days between 1.30 p.m. and 3 p.m. They will, however, not be given free medicines which is only for the central government employees.
He said there were also complaints of CGHS doctors prescribing branded drugs beyond the approved list.
"Taking all factors into consideration, it has been decided that all beneficiaries and the public ought to know which are the drugs in the list," the health minister said.
Henceforth, only 1,447 generic and 622 branded medicines will be prescribed. Exceptions will be made only for patients suffering from cancer and similar diseases, Vardhan said.
"It has been decided that CGHS beneficiaries will be provided with medicines for a maximum of one month. In case, they are going abroad for extended period, the medicines will be given for three months," he said.
"The CGHS doctors will be forbidden to prescribe investigations or implants that are not listed. A technical committee has been constituted to update the list of medicines, investigations, procedures, implants and other procedures of treatment," he said.