Railways withdraws emergency cashless treatment scheme

The CTSE scheme enabled many serving and retired employees to avail cashless treatment during emergencies in private railway empanelled hospitals; rolled out as a pilot project, the Railway Board has decided to discontinue it after a review

December 10, 2023 04:20 am | Updated 04:20 am IST - CHENNAI

Under the CTSE, empanelled private hospitals could provide necessary treatment during emergencies and raise bills directly to the railways.

Under the CTSE, empanelled private hospitals could provide necessary treatment during emergencies and raise bills directly to the railways. | Photo Credit: File Photo

The Indian Railways has withdrawn the Cashless Treatment Scheme in Emergency (CTSE), a medical facility which benefitted a few lakh serving and retired employees and their dependent family members across the country.

A pilot project for providing cashless treatment during emergencies in private Railway-empanelled hospitals was initially launched in metro cities in 2016. Later the ambit of the scheme was expanded across the railway network facilitating serving and retired employees and their dependent family members to avail treatment in private hospitals during emergencies. 

The Railway Board reviewed the implementation of the scheme and after a careful deliberation decided to withdraw the CTSE with immediate effect. It was also decided that no refund would be issued to CTSE-card holder for the amount that was deposited for subscription to the scheme.

While introducing the scheme, the Railways had said comprehensive healthcare facilities were being provided through a network of hospitals to serving and retired employees, and their dependent family members. 

It was felt that a large number of retired beneficiaries lived in the newly-developed suburbs of various cities across India. These suburbs were often far away from the established railway health institutions. In this scenario, precious time was lost in the travel to the Railway hospitals in case of emergency. 

The CTSE was rolled out and empanelled private hospitals were nominated to provide necessary treatment in emergencies and raise the bill directly to the Railways. 

The scheme, designed to work seamlessly on a pan-India basis, facilitated any retired employee settling in any city or moving from place to place to get emergency treatment anywhere in the country without the need for any referral from the local railway medical authorities. 

A spokesperson of the Southern Railway said treatment to serving and retired employees and their dependent family members was still available but with the reference of the railway medical officer. “Only railway doctors can decide whether to send a patient to a private hospital or not. There would be no reimbursement for any treatment taken without the railway doctor’s referral whether emergency or otherwise,” the spokesperson said. 

However, retired employees, aged 75 and above and enrolled under the Retired Employees Liberalised Health Scheme, are permitted under a pilot project to seek out-patient consultation at private hospitals empanelled by the Railways, the official added.

However, as a special case, retired railway employees aged 75 years and above and enrolled under the Retired Employees Liberalised Health Scheme, were being permitted under a pilot project to seek out-patient department (OPD) consultation in private hospitals empanelled by the Railways, the official added. 

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