Merger of postal dispensaries with the CGHS increases workload
The merger of postal dispensaries with the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) by the Centre in January this year have eased the problems pertaining to availability of doctors at the wellness centre, but not without repercussions.
The redistribution of staff between the Postal Dispensary at Dabagardens and the CGHS Wellness Centre that runs from a temporary building on the premises of the Government Hospital for Mental Care at China Waltair has eased the shortage of doctors there. But the Postal Dispensary is unable to take the additional load of CGHS beneficiaries who throng the premises.
Running from a small premises, the Postal Dispensary used to cater to the healthcare needs of postal staff exclusively. With the new arrangements, it is teeming with patients, leading to overcrowding.
Despite space constraints, the Postal Dispensary had four doctors on its rolls, of which two have been deputed to the CGHS Wellness Centre, says All Central Government Employees Pensioners’ Association (ACGEPA) general secretary M. Chandrasekhara Rao.
“We have no complaints on the healthcare services being offered at the Postal Dispensary, but the cramped premises. We have approached the Post Master General (PMG), Visakhapatnam, to sanction an adjacent building which is not in use now and he has told us to approach PMG, Vijayawada,” he adds.
Meanwhile, some corporate hospitals are allegedly declining treatment to CGHS cardholders and referring them to the Wellness Centre, on the plea that their bills are pending. “The Health Minister has already said on the floor of Parliament that the empanelled hospitals have to treat the CGHS cardholders compulsorily, failing which they will be blacklisted,” Mr. Chandrasekhara Rao says.
Second wellness centre
ACGEPA honorary secretary KBR Prasad opines that a second CGHS Wellness Centre should be set up in Visakhapatnam as the number of CGHS cardholders is more than 6,000. “There are 7,468 cardholders under the purview of the centre at China Waltair and the total beneficiaries including family members and dependants is 18,519,” he says.
Visakhapatnam is home to more than 100 Central government establishments and PSUs. A CGHS Wellness Centre was sanctioned to the city after the State bifurcation owing to the efforts of BJP leader K. Haribabu. But, the Wellness Centre that was set up in a temporary building at China Waltair in January, 2017, is yet to get a permanent building.
There is a need to sanction an Additional Director for CGHS in the State, the ACGEPA leaders say.