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Context: The Health Ministry to update the central government health scheme (CGHS) package pricing. 


  • Officials stated that the change was carried out for the first time since 2014 to keep hospitals providing the services.
  • Many private hospitals requested to withdraw from the CGHS council since the prices had not been reviewed since 2014.

New Revised Proposed Rates

  • Outpatient Consultation Department (OPD) charges have been raised from Rs 150 to Rs 350.
  • The daily cost for ICU services has been set at Rs 5,400, which includes all ward entitlements.
  • The cost for a common room has been increased from Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,500, the rent for a semi-private ward has been raised from Rs 2,000 to Rs 3,000, and the rate for a private room has been raised from Rs 3,000 to Rs 4,500.

Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS)

  • It is a welfare scheme that provides comprehensive healthcare facilities to the employees and pensioners of the Central Government and their dependents residing in CGHS-covered cities.
  • It covers allopathic, homoeopathic, ayurvedic, unani, siddha and yoga systems of medicine, as well as dental and eye care.
  • It was established in 1954 to provide quality healthcare services to government employees and their families.
  • It operates through a network of wellness centres, polyclinics, general hospitals, and empanelled private hospitals across India.

Benefits under CGHS

  • CGHS beneficiaries can avail of services such as consultation, medicines, investigations, surgeries, dental care, ayurveda, homoeopathy, yoga, and naturopathy.
  • CGHS beneficiaries can also book online appointments, apply for plastic cards, view their dashboard, lodge grievances, and access teleconsultation services through the CGHS website.
  • CGHS also issues permissions and registrations for various medical procedures and treatments. CGHS charges a monthly contribution from its beneficiaries based on their pay level and entitlement.

Initiative under CHGS

CGHS Wellness Centres

  • These are the primary health care units that provide consultation, medicines, investigations, immunization, family welfare services and other basic health care services to the beneficiaries.
  • There are 499 CGHS Wellness Centres across 72 cities in India.
  • The beneficiaries can register themselves at the nearest Wellness Centre and obtain a CGHS card.
  • They can also book online appointments and avail of teleconsultation services through the CGHS website or mobile app.

Empanelled Hospitals and Diagnostic Centres

  • These are the private healthcare providers that have been empanelled by the CGHS to provide secondary and tertiary care services to the beneficiaries at CGHS rates.
  • The beneficiaries can avail of cashless treatment at these facilities in case of emergency or with prior permission from the CGHS authorities.
  • They can also get reimbursement for their medical expenses as per the CGHS rates and guidelines.

Authorized Local Chemists

  • These are the private chemists that have been authorized by the CGHS to supply medicines to the beneficiaries on prescription from a CGHS doctor.
  • The beneficiaries can get medicines for up to three months at a time from these chemists without any payment.
  • They can also get life-saving drugs and implants on a credit basis from these chemists with prior permission from the CGHS authorities.

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The healthcare sector in India: https://www.iasgyan.in/daily-current-affairs/healthcare-sector-in-india


Q. What are the main challenges and opportunities for implementing a universal health coverage system in India, considering the diversity of health needs, socio-economic conditions, and health system capacities across different states and regions?