GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF DEFENCE
DEPARTMENT OF EX-SERVICEMEN WELFARE
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO.2968
TO BE ANSWERED ON 11th March, 2020
2968. SHRIMATI RITA BAHUGUNA JOSHI:
Will the Minister of DEFENCE
be pleased to state:
(a) the time since when the Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) is operative;
(b) the number of Ex-Servicemen who have availed facility of the same;
(c) the response and feedback of the operation of the Scheme from Ex-Servicemen; and
(d) whether any grievances from Ex-Servicemen have come to the notice of the Government and if so, the remedies that have been undertaken to overcome the same?
A N S W E R
MINISTER OF STATE (SHRI SHRIPAD NAIK)
IN THE MINISTRY OF DEFENCE
(a) Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) was launched on 1st April, 2003.
(b) More than 52 Lakh persons are availing benefit under ECHS.
(c) & (d): The satisfaction level of ECHS beneficiaries is high. However, some grievances are received which relate to shortage of medicines in Polyclinics, lack of empanelled hospitals/polyclinics in certain areas, deficiency in services at empanelled/service hospitals and delay in payment of medical reimbursement bills, etc. The following remedial measures have been taken:-
(i) Non-availability of certain medicines in stock has been addressed through the following measures:-
(a) The CGHS system of Authorized Local Chemists (ALCs) has been approved for ECHS on 22nd August, 2017.
(b) The CGHS norms for empanelment of Local Chemists have been relaxed on 25th June, 2018 to enable Polyclinics located in rural, semiurban, remote areas to empanel ALCs.
(c) Under ALC system, Polyclinics have been allowed to obtain medicines that are not available in stock from authorized local chemists and provide the same to the beneficiaries.
(d) Further, on 30th January, 2019 the ECHS beneficiaries have been allowed to purchase not-available medicines for a maximum period of 15 days at a time subject to certain financial limits and conditions and seek reimbursement thereof.
(ii) Whenever complaints of deficiency in services against empanelled hospitals are received, the matter is enquired into. If found true, suitable action is taken against them in accordance with rules.
(iii) A detailed procedure for taking action against hospitals empanelled with ECHS has been laid down vide MoD, DoESW Letter No.25(02)/2018/WE/D(Res) dated 10.10.2019.
(iv) To overcome the shortage of Medical officers in Polyclinics in certain areas due to non-availability of full time doctors, rules have been amended to recruit doctors on part time basis vide MoD, DoESW Letter No.22D(14)/2018/WE/D(Res-I), dated 05.02.2020.
Source: Lok sabha