similarly treat unmarried permanently disabled and financially dependent sons of Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) beneficiaries who have become disabled after attaining the age of 25 years as dependants t has now been decided by the Ministry of Defence (MoD), Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare (DESW) to and hence eligible for availing benefits under ECHS. They were previously not considered dependents.
- ECHS was launched with effect from 2003. The Scheme aims to provide allopathic and AYUSH medicare to Ex-servicemen pensioners and their dependents through a network of ECHS polyclinics, service medical facilities and civil empanelled/Govt hospitals/specified Govt. AYUSH hospitals spread across the country. The scheme has been structured to ensure cashless transactions, as far as possible, for the patients and is financed by the Govt of India.
- Policy framework for the Scheme is laid down by the Govt and executive control is exercised by the Department of Ex-servicemen Welfare. The scheme is managed through the existing infrastructure of the Armed Forces so as to minimize the administrative expenditure. The existing infrastructure includes command and control structure, spare capacity of service medical facilities (Hospitals and Medical inspection rooms), procurement organization for medical and non-medical equipment, defence land and buildings etc. Station Commanders assisted by Senior Executive Medical Officers (SEMO) exercise direct control over the ECHS Polyclinics.
- The Central Organisation ECHS is located at Delhi and functions under the Chiefs of Staff Committee through the Adjutant General in the Integrated Headquarters of Ministry of Defence (Army). The Central Organisation is headed by a Managing Director, a serving Major General. All ESM pensioners are required to make a one time contribution based on their corresponding scale of Grade Pay at the time of retirement.
- ECHS Polyclinics are designed to provide ‘Out Patient Care‘ which includes consultation, essential investigation and provision of medicines. Specialized consultations, investigations and ‘In Patient Care’ (Hospitalization) is provided through spare capacity available in Service hospitals/ Government hospitals/ civil hospitals empanelled with ECHS.