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From 'paper-based to paper-less': Harsh Vardhan launches 'revamped' health schemes. Read here

Harsh Vardhan speaks at the launch of the revamped Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) and the umbrella schemes of Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi (RAN) and Health Minister's Discretionary Grant (HMDG) on NHA's IT platform, in New Delhi. (PTI)Premium
Harsh Vardhan speaks at the launch of the revamped Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) and the umbrella schemes of Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi (RAN) and Health Minister's Discretionary Grant (HMDG) on NHA's IT platform, in New Delhi. (PTI)

  • He said that due to lack of timely intervention, delayed response and various hurdles, the poor and the needy were not able to avail the benefits of these health schemes

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan has launched "revamped" health schemes for providing cashless, paperless and citizen-centric services.

He said that due to lack of timely intervention, delayed response and various hurdles, the poor and the needy were not able to avail the benefits of these health schemes.

He launched the revamped Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) and the umbrella schemes of Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi (RAN) and the Health Minister's Discretionary Grant (HMDG) on the National Health Authority (NHA)'s IT platform.

"It was one of my dream initiatives and I have been waiting to see the launch of these schemes on NHA's IT platform. This will enable seamless delivery of healthcare services to eligible beneficiaries under these schemes by making the whole process paperless," he said.

Harsh Vardhan observed that he personally knows many people who have not been able to avail the entitlement benefits despite the presence of well-intended government schemes.

Due to lack of timely intervention through these schemes, delayed response and hurdle in these cases, the poor and needy people were not able to avail the benefits of the health schemes on time. He noted that these bureaucratic hassles stood in the principles of Antyodaya espoused by Deendayal Upadhyay.

Vardhan laud PM Modi for 'Digital India'

He lauded the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for using technology for welfare delivery to citizens envisaged under Digital India.

"Just like the Technological interventions in opening bank accounts, Public Financial Management System (PFMS), subsidies through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT), Ayushman Bharat scheme for paperless treatment of patients, today’s initiative of convergence of CGHS, RAN and HMDG with NHA platform is also designed to with the vision of making the healthcare services available transparently and swiftly to the needy citizens," Vardhan said.

The Union Health Minister remarked that the CGHS, a comprehensive Health Scheme for Serving Employees, Pensioners, Members of Parliament, ex-MPs, etc., and their dependent family members, during the last 7 years has expanded to 72 Cities with more than 38 lakh beneficiaries are covered under the scheme.

He noted that although CGHS started in 1954 in New Delhi, wherein till 2014 only 25 cities were covered. CGHS retired pensioners are provided Cashless treatment at empanelled centres which will now be made seamless in the new platform. The present Unit Trust of India Infrastructure Technology and Services Limited (UTI-ITSL) bill clearing platform will run concurrently till midnight of 10/11 June 2021 to ensure that the CGHS pensioner beneficiaries don’t have face any inconvenience.

Vardhan noted that e-referral module developed by NIC has enabled CGHS dispensaries and wellness centres to issue online referral to empanelled hospitals. The hospital’s processing of application, submission of claims, CGHS team’s sanctioning, release of payment would be done online on the platform henceforth.

He informed that under RAN, financial assistance up to 15 lakh is provided to poor patients suffering from major life-threatening diseases/cancer/rare diseases, for medical treatment at Government hospitals. The eligibility criteria to avail services under RAN had been based on State/UT-wise BPL threshold. But getting a state-specific BPL certificate from a competent authority has remained a time-consuming process.

Similarly, under HMDG a maximum amount of Rs.1,25,000/- is provided to patients whose annual income does not exceed Rs.1,25,000/-, to defray a part of the expenditure on hospitalization/treatment in Government Hospitals. Beneficiaries can apply for financial assistance under both schemes by providing their Ration card number and undergoing beneficiary verification process at any of the empanelled Govt. hospital. Their application will be processed in-house by the respective hospital and treatment can be started. On submission of the treatment details by the respective hospital, claims will be processed and payment would be released.

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