New Delhi: Beneficiaries under the Central Government Health Scheme will soon have many more healthcare service options to choose from in the national capital region.
The Health Ministry is in the process of reviewing the list of private hospitals, dental clinics and diagnostic facilities empanelled with the government under the scheme to enable central government employees to avail healthcare services in the private sector.
Sources in the Ministry said the current review would lead to an addition of at least 70 more private hospitals, eyecare centres and diagnostic facilities under the scheme which currently allows government employees to access services at 130 empanelled hospitals.
Around 10 new super and multispeciality hospitals, an equal number of mid segment general purpose hospitals, 33 eye care centres, 10 dental clinics and 10 laboratories in the NCR are in the process of being empanelled under the scheme. Following the revision, the total number of CGHS empanelled hospitals in NCR would grow to 200.
Among the new hospitals being added are BL Kapoor Super Speciality Hospital, Max Hospitals at Patparganj and Shalimar Bagh, Batra Hospital near Okhla, Rockland Hospital in South Delhi, and Saroj Hospital in Rohini.
In addition, some hospitals offering limited services for endoscopy and cardiology are also being empanelled for employees to have a wider choice of healthcare facilities.
The Health Ministry separately is also in the process of reviewing CGHS rates for various medical facilities availed at empanelled hospitals under the scheme.
Indications are that rates will be further lowered for the benefit of central government employees.
Recent rationalisation of rates of various treatments and alleged delay in payments resulted in some top private hospitals withdrawing from the list of CGHS empanelled hospitals. As a result, thousands of CGHS beneficiaries, who are employees of the government and public-sector undertakings including senior government officials, will not be able to avail medical treatment in top private medical institutes in the country under the CGHS scheme.
New additions in the CGHS list will balance the gaps created recently by the exit of some top hospitals from the list of empanelled facilities. At least five other top private hospitals have been removed from the list this year.
Some other top private hospitals which have been removed from the list in the recent past include Escorts Heart Institute and Research Centre, Max Super Speciality Hospital and Max Devki Heart and Vascular Institute, besides Garg Hospitals, all in Delhi.
Sources say Apollo Hospitals along with some other top hospitals have already conveyed their unwillingness to continue their empanelment under the CGHS scheme.
Officials admit that due to recent rationalisation of rates of various treatments that makes it unremunerative for them to provide medical facilities to CGHS beneficiaries and delays in payments made to such hospitals by the government, many other hospitals in Delhi and around are also threatening to withdraw from the list of CGHS empanelled hospitals.
Though Health Ministry officials say there is nothing to panic as there are a total of around 500 private empanelled hospitals under CGHS, they admit that there are murmurs of some other hospitals waiting in the wings to discontinue in the CGHS empanelled list.
Among hospitals which exited citing delayed payments and recent rationalisation of CGHS rates are Balaji Action, Escorts and Max Hospital Saket.
The reason cited for private hospitals to opt out of the CGHS empanelment is the recent revision of rates for various kinds of treatments at such hospitals by the government.
These include treatments like stent replacement and angiography and angioplasty, where the revised rates have been drastically reduced, thus rendering it unremunerative for private hospitals to treat patients who are government employees.
The private hospitals are upset at the revision of rates of various treatments and are now threatening to opt out of the CGHS scheme.