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Central Government Health Scheme: Pune Beneficiaries cry for better facilities

Only nine CGHS dispensaries in Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad areas to provide health cover to 1.37 lakh people.

pune Updated: Dec 14, 2017 15:11 IST
Jui Dharwadkar
Jui Dharwadkar
Hindustan Times, Pune
central govenment health scheme,health,hospitals
Patients seen waiting outside a Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) dispensary in Aundh. With just nine CGHS dispensaries in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad areas and not enough beds in hospitals, such long queues are a regular sight. (Pratham Gokhale/HT Photo)

The nearly 1.40 lakh beneficiaries under the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) in Pune have been suffering for want of access to better hospitals and more government clinics in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad.

Since CGHS is not linked to any of the big hospitals in the city, central government employees in Pune do not have access to radiotherapy as this facility is provided by multi-specialty hospitals only. Likewise, other facilities, including chemotherapy, are unavailable in all hospitals.

Speaking to Hindustan Times, BP Kamble, a CGHS beneficiary and general secretary, Confederation of Central Government Employees, Workers and Pensioners, said that presently there are just one or two hospitals under CGHS catering to cancer patients.

With just nine CGHS dispensaries in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad attending to a beneficiary population of 1.37 lakh people, patients have to wait in queues for long hours. While the dispensaries are overburdened, there are not enough beds in hospitals for the patients.

A cancer patient was forced to travel 22-km one way from Pimpri to a hospital in Hadapsar as the other hospitals under CGHS did not have the necessary therapies.

Of the 1.37 lakh CGHS beneficiaries in Pune, 60 per cent are pensioners while 40 per cent are working government employees.

When team Hindustan Times spoke to CGHS beneficiaries in the city, most complained of lack of big hospitals under CGHS which can provide treatment for all emergencies under a single roof.

The difficulties faced due to the absence of cashless facilities for working government employees was also raised by the beneficiaries.

Pointing out to the acute shortage of CGHS dispensaries, Kamble said at least six more Wellness Centers (Dispensaries) were required to cater to the large number of beneficiaries.

Another beneficiary, Sanjay Srinivasan, president, All India Association of Central Excise Gazetted Executive Officers (AIACEGEO) said, “The central government health scheme was working very well till four years ago. However, since then the facilities provided under CGHS have been deteriorating. This issue must be addressed,” he said.

Srinivasan added that the other major problem faced by working government employees is that they are not being provided cashless facility which is the need of the hour.

“In emergency situations if the treatment cost is very high then paying so much amount immediately to the hospital is difficult. Also the other major problem is that the reimbursement is not received by the beneficiaries in a time bound manner which is very disappointing. Having a cashless facility even for working government employees is required,” said Srinivasan.

When contacted, additional director, CGHS Pune, KM Biswas said, “There are 46 hospitals under the hospital empanelment of CGHS in the city. Earlier bigger hospitals like Ruby Hall Clinic, Jehangir, Sahyadri and Inlaks and Budhrani were part of CGHS but have opted out. The major reason put forth by these hospitals was that they wanted a revision in our package rates which are fixed for every particular surgery and treatment.”

Biswas said that the health ministry is likely to consider revision of the package rates soon and certain bigger hospitals might again come under CGHS but nothing has been finalised so far, he added.

First Published: Dec 14, 2017 15:09 IST