Lakhs of beneficiaries of the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) can now avail of medical facilities with only one permission letter valid for six months.
The new order would relive the beneficiaries of the inconvenience of making incessant rounds of dispensaries to get permission of treatment.
The ruling has been made applicable to beneficiaries across India being treated for diabetes, hypertension, cardiac diseases, dialysis or cancer. Prior to the order, beneficiaries had to take permission from a chief doctor of a CGHS dispensary every time they sought a medical treatment.
"The order was passed due to the increase in complaints from beneficiaries," said Dr Manoj Jain, senior chief medical officer at the health ministry.
In the order dated October 1, VP Singh, deputy secretary to the ministry of health and family welfare, stated, "With a view to alleviate the inconvenience to beneficiaries in obtaining permission(s) every time, the ministry has decided to permit issue of permission letters with a validity of six months…"
"Can you imagine an 80-year-old man suffering from a heart disorder waiting to get this one letter for his treatment? It was a big trouble for them. But now patients can use this one permission letter multiple times," said Sanjeev Saxena, general secretary of CGHS beneficiaries' welfare association (CGHS BWA), Gurgaon. CGHS provides comprehensive health care facilities for central government employees, pensioners and their dependents in 25 cities.