There has been a threefold increase in the number of Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) wellness centres and the cities covered by such centres have grown from 25 in 2014 to 75 now, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Wednesday.
This is in line with vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to provide easily accessible healthcare services closer to the communities, he said after virtully inaugurating a CGHS wellness centre in Silchar in Assam. ”In a significant achievement to strengthen the country’s health infrastructure and accessibility to CGHS services, there has been a threefold increase in the number of Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) wellness centres. The cities covered by CGHS wellness centres have grown from 25 in 2014 to 75 now,” he said.
Mandaviya reiterated the commitment of the central government to providing easily accessible quality healthcare services to the beneficiaries. He stated that the new CGHS centre at Silchar will provide healthcare services to serving and retired central government employees residing not only in Silchar but neighbouring districts of Karimganj and Hailakandi.
He pointed out that despite Silchar being one of the major cities in the Barak Valley, beneficiaries had to travel more than 180 km to avail CGHS facilities in Aizawl or 208 km in Shillong. The new wellness centre would cater to the medical needs of several thousands of beneficiaries and would mitigate their hardships, as they will not be required to travel to such far away places now, the ministry said. It will provide outpatient services including medicines, referral for investigations as well as indoor treatment at government and empanelled hospitals. Cashless facilities for treatment will be provided in empanelled hospitals, it said.
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Mandaviya added that Silchar is the third city in Assam after Guwahati and Dibrugarh to have CGHS facilities. ”The wellness centre is one of the 16 new CGHS centres being set up across the country in the government’s endeavour to expand the coverage and improve the accessibility of CGHS services.” The health ministry is working on several fronts to improve the services being provided by CGHS to its beneficiaries. Grievance redressal by daily monitoring in mission mode, expediting bill reimbursements, expanding network of private hospital empanelment and other steps have led to quick reimbursements and a decrease in pendency of such cases, he highlighted.
Mandaviya also stated that the government has taken several steps to boost the health infrastructures in the country. Rs. 64,000 cr under PM-ABHIM (Prime Minister- Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission), Rs. 15,000 crore under ECRP-I and Rs. 23,000 crore under ECRP-II have been approved for strengthening health infrastructure in the states.
The CGHS was started in 1954 with the objective of providing comprehensive health care to central government employees and pensioners and their dependent family members. Currently more than 41 lakh beneficiaries in 75 cities are covered by this scheme.