Kids of single mothers put within CGHS ambit
Minor children of widowed or separated daughters of Central Government employees and pensioners have now been brought under the CGHS purview. In a major decision, the Union Health Ministry has extended the medical facilities benefits under the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) to such minor children.
So far, only the widowed or separated (divorced) daughter of the CGHS beneficiary was eligible for availing the medical benefits. And the move is in line with the recommendation of the Sixth Pay Commission in this regard.
A senior Health Ministry official said that the decision was taken after several rounds of discussions with competent authorities. As per the terms and conditions for the newly included beneficiaries, “The upper age limit of the dependents who can take advantage of the CGHS medical facilities is 18 years. They should be normally residing with the Government servant/pensioner.”
The decision, announced on January 19, hinges on the general perception that in a patriarchal society like ours, usually widowed or divorced daughters have no independent financial backup and have to depend on their parents for the support.
“To ameliorate their sufferings, particularly monetary needs, we have brought the minor kids of such hapless daughters under the CGHS ambit,” the official noted.
This is the second major decision lately from the Health Ministry aiming to benefit women under the CGHS scheme. Just two months ago, the Ministry had doled out CGHS benefits to female Government employees undergoing IVF (in-vitro fertilisation) treatment for conceiving a child.
Reimbursement of expenditure incurred on IVF procedure have been allowed upto a maximum of 3 (three) fresh cycles with the total medical cost not exceeding Rs 65,000 per cycle.