HYDERABAD: The long pending demand of the state government employees for free healthcare facilities has finally come true on Friday. Thanks to the newly launched Employee Health Scheme, soon the government employees will have exclusive outpatient wards at more than 200 government and several corporate hospitals where they can get free treatment.
The first of such facility was inaugurated by health minister C Laxma Reddy at the Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) here on Friday. Government employees from all departments and pensioners who have health cards issued by the state government can get free treatment under this scheme.
This outpatient ward at the NIMS will be open for the beneficiaries from 4 p.m to 6 p.m everyday at the hospital. This scheme covers 25 different health issues ranging from knee pain to heart problems. It will provide the beneficiaries free consultation, laboratory services and medicine.
While launching the scheme, Laxma Reddy said that currently the facility is available only at NIMS, but soon it will be extended to around 200 more government hospitals across the state. Major hospitals like Gandhi, Osmania and Niloufer hospitals and all the district health centers will be brought under the scheme to serve more employees.
The government is also planning to implement this scheme in some of the corporate hospitals. So far around 12 hospitals in Hyderabad have agreed to provide treatment under this scheme. Talks with several other private hospitals are still in progress, Reddy said. He admitted that the government has received complaints against several corporate hospitals in Arogyasri scheme. To avoid such incidents, a special cell would be set up in all the hospitals to address grievances of the employees, he added.
Representatives of employee unions thanked the government for introducing this scheme. However, they complained that corporate hospitals often reject cases under government schemes. The minister assured that the scheme will be closely monitored by officials every month. Mahabubnagar MLA, Srinivas Goud, Principal Secretary for health, Suresh Chanda and NIMS director Dr Manohar were also present at the event.