Railway Board has aborted its much hyped Cashless Treatment Scheme in Emergency (CTSE) as it failed to generate expected response from the retired personnel. The scheme was launched in 2018 with an aim to provide fast admission without referral in private hospital across the country having tie-up with the Railways. The idea was piloted by then Chairman Railway Board Ashwin Kumar Lohani. However, post review of the scheme over the last five-years, the Health Directorate found few takers for CTSE. Initially, the scheme was launched on pilot basis in 2018 over four metropolitan cities and thereafter rolled out all over the country just after six months. But, given the reluctance among retired employees to opt for the scheme, Board took a critical review. So, on October 16, a circular was issued to all the unit by Dr A K Malhotra, Principal Executive Director, Health, Railway Board, about closure of the CTSE over Indian Railways.
The scheme as such was quite well drafted as it provided direct admission to the private affiliated hospital for emergency treatment. Only the employee had to submit his UMID card and CTSE card as identity of railway beneficiary. To avoid misuse, Board listed the criteria for emergency, so that only in genuine cases the employees assess the option of CTSE. Further post admission and treatment, the concerned hospital had to submit the treatment documents and other details to respective divisional railway hospital for scrutiny. In between, the Railways also set-up an intermediately, a third party had to verify the emergency cited by railway employees and only after the scrutiny the bills to private hospital was to be cleared. The private entity charged 2 per cent commission for liasoning between railways and private hospital.
All over Indian, only handful of employees opted for scheme, the digit as per sources was never more than double digit number. The reluctance was quite clear, as those wanting to avail CTSE had to pay Rs. 65,000 in addition to subscription under Liberalised Scheme that entitled retired personnel to continue to avail treatment for themselves and dependent family member. The hefty entry amount was a clear obstacle in way of generating required number of beneficiaries, as post retirement no one was interested in parting with such huge amount. Further the condition for emergence admission also acted as deterrent. As compare, the amount deposited under RELHS that provided card was more handy for employees. Here the card holder has to first contact the railway hospital who then provide referral documents for admission to concern hospital for specialised treatment.
Enquiries over two divisions of railways in city revealed that the CTSE scheme failed to make any impact here. Not a single retired personnel opted for enrolled under the scheme. Similarly response was also seen at other places of Railways, forcing a rethink at the top level. While withdrawing the CTSE scheme with immediate effect, Board made it clear that those 60 to 70 personnel who have enrolled would not be refunded. The circular directs zonal units to remove the CTSE card facility option that used to be filled at time of submission of retirement documents. Sources the aim of top officials of Board while launching the said scheme was to trim down the hospital, account and personnel branch over Indian Railways. But due to inherent problems with the scheme, it died it own death.