In a response to a starred question in the Lok Sabha on August 4, 2023, the Minister of Health and Family Welfare provided information regarding the prescription of medicines in CGHS (Central Government Health Scheme) Wellness Centers.
Prescription of Medicines in CGHS Wellness Centres
GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF HEALTH AND FAMILY WELFARE
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND FAMILY WELFARE
STARRED QUESTION NO. 224
TO BE ANSWERED ON THE 4th AUGUST, 2023
PRESCRIPTION OF MEDICINES IN CGHS WELLNESS CENTRES
*224. SHRI C. LALROSANGA:
Will the Minister of HEALTH AND FAMILY WELFARE be pleased to state:
(a) whether the Government has taken note that CGHS Wellness Centres including in the North-Eastern States like CGHS Wellness Centre, Dispur, Guwahati, the doctors refuse to give prescribed medicines advised by the doctors of private empanelled hospitals and instead give alternative medicines as per their own choice citing that the cost of prescribed medicines are higher;
(b) if so, whether there are any guidelines issued by the Government which allow CMOs of CGHS Wellness Centres including in North-Eastern States to refuse to give the prescribed medicines advised by specialized doctors of private empanelled hospitals; and
(c) the manner in which the Government monitor these sensitive issues in the North-Eastern States and take steps for the wellbeing of the CGHS card holders?
THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND FAMILY WELFARE
(DR MANSUKH MANDAVIYA)
(a) to (c) To promote generic medicines, government Medical Officers, time and again, have been instructed to prescribe generic medicines only and desist from prescribing branded medicines. Director General of Health Services in May, 2023 has reiterated directions for all doctors in Central Government Hospitals/ CGHS Wellness Centers/ Polyclinics to prescribe generic medicines only, failing which attracts suitable action. However, Specialists/ Doctors at CGHS empanelled hospitals at times prescribe branded medicines. Medical Officer at CGHS Wellness Centres do not provide alternative medicines. Only generic medicines having identical formulation and therpeutic effects are provided to beneficiaries in place of branded medicines prescribed by doctors of private empanelled Hospitals. In case suitable generic medicine or any other drug of same composition is unavailable at Wellness Centre, the prescribed medicine is indented through Authorized Local Chemist (ALC) and issued to the beneficiary. CGHS procures generic medicines in bulk through Medical Stores Organization. This mechasim of medicine distribution is followed across the country including North-Eastern States.
Strengthening and reform of any scheme is a continuous and dynamic process. To ensure optimal functionality to facilitate seamless delivery of health care services and prompt redressal of grievances within the CGHS system, Local Advisory Committee(s) at Wellness Centre level and Zonal Advisory Committee(s) at Additional Director level have been re-constituted in all CGHS cities including in North-Eastern States. Beneficiaries may raise the grievance related to issue of medicines before these Committees for redressal.