10 January 2009
By Manish Umbrajkar
Hundreds of retired government employees in Pimpri–Chinchwad, who are beneficiaries of the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS), are facing inconvenience due to the absence of CGHS dispensaries in the twin township.
The CGHS authorities admit that there is an urgent need to start CGHS dispensaries in Pimpri–Chinchwad, but the decision has to be taken by the Union health ministry.
In the absence of any CGHS medical facilities here, these people have to visit dispensaries in Pune for getting medical treatment.
Retired employee M R Joshi (name changed), staying in Nigdi Pradhikaran, said that for medical treatment, he has to either go to the dispensary at Range Hills in Khadki or near the University of Pune. “Going to these dispensaries is very inconvenient for senior citizens,” he said.
In Dehu Road and Talegaon also there are a large number of CGHS beneficiaries because of the several defence units there. They also have to travel to Pune for medical treatment. Joshi said that if at least two CGHS dispensaries are started in Pimpri–Chinchwad, it will benefit many CGHS card holders.
A senior official of the CGHS in Pune told TOI that a proposal, saying that there was a need for opening at least two dispensaries in Pimpri–Chinchwad, was sent to the CGHS head quarters in New Delhi last year. However, due to financial constraints, the proposal has not been approved.
The officials have also pointed out that if a new dispensary cannot be started, then one of the dispensaries in Pune should be shifted to Pimpri–Chinchwad area. “We had submitted a proposal to shift the dispensary at DAD complex in Lullanagar to GPA complex near Akurdi railway station. We have also pointed out that there is enough staff for opening a new dispensary,” another official said.
At present, there are seven dispensaries and one polyclinic in Pune for the CGHS beneficiaries. The dispensaries provide basic medical facilities. In case of major ailments, the patients are referred to CGHS–recognised hospitals.
The authorities said that there are enough card holders for starting two dispensaries in Pimpri–Chinchwad area. However, they added that chances of approval to new CGHS dispensaries in the current financial year appear to be bleak.
“Given the present financial constraints, it is likely that the proposal may be deferred to the the next financial year,” an official said.