Going to any MBBS or MD doctor for consultation can cost you anything between Rs250 to Rs800, but the same doctors get only Rs135 as consultation charges when they check a patient coming to them under the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS). This amount reduces further when it comes to schemes like Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) or Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Jan Arogya Yojna.
Asserting that the consultation fees and treatment rates under present health schemes are very low, doctors have demanded a revision immediately. As many non-government organizations consider CGHS rates as standard parameters to decide medical treatment, doctors have demanded the CGHS rates must be revised immediately.
Hospitals and Clinical Establishments Board as well as National Medical Forum have raised this demand in their recent meeting in New Delhi. Association of Hospitals in Vidarbha has also joined them, stating that condition in Maharashtra is worse than other states.
“The present CGHS charges are unviable and need practical review to safeguard interests of all beneficiaries,” said Dr Anup Marar, founder secretary of Vidarbha Hospitals Association.
“Apart from low rates, non-clearance of dues on time is also a major problem. This has led to unrest among empanelled hospitals. Good hospitals are reluctant to join these schemes. Moreover, many other government undertakings are using CGHS tariff as reference,” he added. According to him, the present tariff is around 20% of private hospital rates.
Dr Sameer Paltewar, senior member of the association, said VHA has already raised this demand before the government. “Central government employees and pensioners are beneficiaries of CGHS scheme. Their dearness allowance is revised twice a year. But the CGHS rates for hospitals are waiting for revision from last six years,” he said. “Ultimately, hospitals have to charge more from common patients to make up some part of these losses. Indirectly, common taxpayers are paying more from their pockets and suffering due to this,” he said.
Gynecologist Dr Laxmi Shrikhande, who also heads Vidarbha chapter of Indian Society of Perinatology and Reproductive Biology (ISOPARB), said doctors are never consulted while deciding these charges. “Many surgeries, treatments include services of other doctors. Further complications also develop in some cases. But, in CGHS, administrative officers, who are mainly non-medicos, decide the rates. These people miss the doctor’s point of view,” she said adding that doctors must be appointed on a panel while revising CGHS rates.
Currently, with the going rates of the scheme, patients pay the auto more money when they come to see a doctor than the doctor himself, claimed Dr Prem Aggarwal, president, National Medical Forum. “Many disgruntled super-specialists are refusing to see CGHS patients. Small clinics and nursing homes are reluctant to treat the patients. Ultimately, patients are suffering,” he said.
CGHS rates in Nagpur
OPD consultation: Rs135 (Rs200 to Rs1,000 in private set-up)
Ventilator charges (per day): Rs611 (Rs3,500)
Normal delivery: Rs9,200 (Rs22,000)
Cesarean Section: Rs16,158 (Rs40,000)
Appendectomy (removal of appendix): Rs9,324 (Over Rs20,000)
Hysterectomy (removal of uterus): Rs17,078 (over Rs35,000).-Times Of India