The state government of Telangana is planning to make changes in the Employees Health Scheme (EHS) from a free healthcare scheme to a contributory healthcare scheme so as to make the scheme more robust and acceptable by all the hospitals and help enable the employees get best quality healthcare treatment under the EHS scheme. As part of this, the state government has proposed to deduct a sum of Rs.500 from the monthly salaries of the employees.
In fact earlier, the state government had introduced the EHS scheme two years back to provide free healthcare treatment on the lines of ‘Aarogyasri Healthcare scheme’ to all the government employees, retired employees and accredited journalists in the state. However the EHS schemes is not accepted by some private hospitals where the employees want to get themselves treated and this has led to a discontentment among the government employees and urged the government to make it more robust so that the employees do not get deprived of quality healthcare treatment in the state.
“The response for EHS scheme in the state is not as good as it was expected. We expected that the EHS scheme would help boost in providing best quality treatment for the government employees. However, it has not fulfilled the intended purpose as majority hospitals in the state are not accepting the EHS cards,” said Ram Chander, a retired employee from Hyderabad.
Unlike the Aarogyasri healthcare scheme where thousands of common public are getting free healthcare treatment for a set of listed diseases across various hospitals in the state, the EHS scheme has not received the same response as majority of the private hospitals are not honouring the EHS scheme. Moreover hundreds of employees are complaining that the EHS cards are not accepted by the private hospitals.
In view of the above, the state government had proposed to make the scheme more robust and acceptable and has decided to make the scheme a contributory scheme wherein each employee has to contribute a sum of Rs.500 towards the scheme. “We have received some complaints relating to EHS scheme from the employees. They felt that the healthcare scheme is not as effective as it was intended. In view of the above we have proposed to deduct Rs.500 from the monthly salary of each employee so that a considerable amount of fund is raised which would be used for spending for the healthcare of the employees,” informed Etala Rajender, Health Minister of Telangana.
At present there are 4 lakh state government employees and 3 lakh retired employees in the state, if the said amount is deducted from the employees salaries it would accumulate Rs.25-30 crore per month which would be used for providing better health treatment to the employees.
At present the state government is spending Rs.650 to 1,000 crore annually for the Aarogyasri and EHS schemes in the state.