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CGHS beneficiaries can now undergo treatment at pvt hospitals sans referral letter.

New Delhi, Dec 7 (PTI) Beneficiaries of the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) can now undergo treatment at any empanelled private hospital without the requirement of a referral or permission letter.

The decision was taken after the health ministry received a lot of representations for simplification of procedures for undergoing treatment at private hospitals empanelled under the scheme.

Earlier, central government employees and their dependents could undergo specific treatment procedures at private hospitals after being prescribed by medical officers under the scheme.

"It has now been decided that CGHS beneficiaries are allowed to undergo treatment at private hospitals empanelled under the CGHS of specific treatment procedures listed under CGHS rate list...Without any requirement of any other referral (permission) letter," according to an order issued by the health ministry.

According to an office memorandum which has been issued to all the ministries and departments of the central government, private empanelled hospitals shall perform the treatment on cashless basis in respect of pensioners, former parliamentarians, freedom fighters and regular employees who are at present eligible for credit facility.

"They shall enclose the prescription issued by government specialist or a CGHS medical officer in original, along with the hospital bill submitted to the competent authorities," said the order.

Previously, one had to consult at a local dispensary, from where the patient had to be referred to a bigger government hospital where, with the permission of a specialist, the paperwork had to be done to avail the treatment at a CGHS-empanelled private hospital or refer the beneficiaries to any particular hospital, according to the new order.