CGHS beneficiaries receive free treatment at 3 premier medical institutes

In a significant and people-centric move, cashless treatment facilities will now be available for CGHS beneficiaries, both helping and pensioners, at AIIMS-New Delhi, PGIMER-Chandigarh and JIPMER-Puducherry. A memorandum of agreement (MoA) to this effect has been signed among the three institutions. All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, Post-Graduate Institute of Medicine and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh and Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER), Puducherry and the Central Government's Health Scheme (CGHS), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in the presence of Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan.

The initiative builds upon six MoAs signed on May 20 between the CGHS and the All India Institutes of Medical Sciences located in Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Patna, Jodhpur, Raipur, and Rishikesh. "The extension of patient-care facilities at AIIMS-New Delhi, PGIMER-Chandigarh and JIPMER-Puducherry to the CGHS beneficiaries on a cashless basis will be particularly beneficial for the pensioner beneficiaries of the CGHS. It eliminates the need for them to submit individual reimbursement claims and follow up for approvals," Bhushan said. With this new initiative, the CGHS beneficiaries will have direct access to state-of-the-art treatment facilities at these medical institutions, without the hassle of making upfront payments and seeking reimbursements from the CGHS. The streamlined process will save time, reduce paperwork and expedite the settlement of individual claims, Bhushan said.

"Previously, the CGHS pensioner beneficiaries availing treatment at these institutions were required to make payments upfront and claim reimbursement later from the CGHS," the health secretary said at the signing of the MoA. He appreciated the development and highlighted that the CGHS is a significant service-oriented vertical of the health ministry through which existing and retired employees can avail of medical services. "The government aims to expand the number of hospitals impaneled under the CGHS to provide excellent tertiary-care facilities aligned with the rising requirements of the patients," Bhushan said.

He further emphasized that this agreement will benefit a large segment of the population by simplifying lengthy formalities and expediting access to medical care. He also noted that the agreement will help expand the reach of the CGHS services across the country, allowing the beneficiaries to avail the CGHS facilities at the institutes of national importance (INIs) in their respective states. Additionally, the CGHS has revised certain rates of treatment and medical care, further facilitating access to treatment facilities for patients, Bhushan said. According to the salient features of this initiative, cashless treatment will be available in outpatient departments (OPDs), investigations and indoor treatment for the CGHS pensioners and other eligible categories of beneficiaries.

The three institutions will raise credit bills for the CGHS pensioners and other eligible beneficiaries, and the CGHS will preferably make the payment within 30 days of receiving the bills. The CGHS beneficiaries will be admitted only upon the production of a valid CGHS beneficiary identity card for treatment at these institutions. Separate help desks and accounting systems will be created for the CGHS beneficiaries at AIIMS-New Delhi, PGIMER-Chandigarh and JIPMER-Puducherry. The medicines prescribed by the doctors at these institutions, whether for OPD treatment or at the time of discharge, will be collected by the beneficiaries through the CGHS. The CGHS beneficiaries will no longer require referrals to access healthcare facilities at these institutions.