Now, senior citizens, who are Central Government Health Scheme
(CGHS) beneficiaries, can dial for their doctor and seek treatment. Demand for tele-consultation services for the beneficiaries given the current pandemic situation had been growing, especially since government guidelines suggest that those over 65 and with co-morbidities constitute a high-risk group for COVID-19, and ought to stay in.
The Union health ministry said that it had been receiving requests from several quarters, including senior citizen beneficiaries, to start tele-consultation services with specialist doctors, since it is not advisable for senior citizens to visit public places, particularly health care facilities.
Starting Wednesday, these services will be available from 9am to 12pm on all working days. Initially, however, these services will be available to beneficiaries only in Delhi-NCR, the health ministry said.
The services would be made available using the ministry’s existing e-Sanjeevani platform, which has been linked platform with the ID of the beneficiaries.
“For availing of specialist OPD services, the beneficiaries are required to register on the platform using their mobile number after which an OTP will be generated for verification purposes. After verification, the beneficiaries can log on to the system, fill patient registration form, request for a token and upload health records (if required),” the health ministry said.
The users will receive a patient ID and a token via a text message, and they will also be intimated about their number in the online queue.
When their turn comes, a ‘call now’ button will be activated and the beneficiary can initiate a video call with a specialist for consultation. After the tele-consultation, an e-prescription will be generated. Using this, the patients can get medicines issued from their CGHS wellness centre, too.
Currently, the ministry plans to include services under a few specialities—medicine, orthopaedics, ophthalmology and ENT.
For regular OPD services, each CGHS beneficiary is attached to a particular Wellness Centre (WC), although the beneficiaries can avail of OPD services at any centre across the country. For availing of consultations with specialists, CGHS beneficiaries will get referred by the medical officers of their wellness centre. However, for senior citizens, such a referral from the wellness centre is not required, the ministry has clarified.