In a move that will regularise and upgrade the healthcare facilities for central government employees, the health ministry is likely to issue a directive asking more than 150 Central Services Medical Attendant (CSMA)-affiliated private hospitals to get the approval of National Accreditation Board for hospitals and healthcare providers (NABH). CSMA rules allow the private hospitals to treat government employees and their family members in the absence of central government health scheme(CGHS) facilities. The CSMA hospitals will be given about 12-18 months to upgrade themselves and those which do not receive the NABH’s approval will not be allowed to treat central government employees in the future. CGHS covers more than 50 lakh people in the country. A health ministry official said, “As CGHS hospitals are limited to 28 cities throughout the country, private hospitals are allowed to treat central government employees. While the Quality Council of India (QCI) approves all the hospitals under CGHS, there is no proper standarisation of CSMA hospitals. There is a need to regularise and improve their facilities.” The official, however, added that the approval may be granted on a case to case basis. The move will stop the misuse of government health insurance schemes, according to industry officials. But as most CSMA hospitals are small facilities with 30-100 beds, it will be difficult for such hospitals to obtain the approval. QCI secretary general Girdhar Gyani told ET, “We have been asking the health ministry to allow only NABH approved hospitals under both the CGHS and CSMA scheme.” QCI has inspected and recommended around 300 hospitals for CGHS recognition. But of these, only 25-30 percent can get NABH accreditation and another 30 percent may pass the test with some upgradation. The Quality Council is also in talks with the insurance regulator IRDA to permit only NABH accredited hospitals to provide medical facilities to people covered under private insurance schemes. However, the proposal is considered impractical as only 20 hospitals have NABH accreditation nationwide and 60 cases are being processed.