Wednesday, May 26, 2010
To provide equitable treatment to all eligible Ex-Servicemen and their dependents under the Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) and to enhance the scheme’s coverage, the Union Cabinet today approved Establishment of 199 new polyclinics including 17 mobile medical facilities and 15 new regional centres at a cost of Rs. 141 crores. With this, the ECHS facility will now be extended to those areas, where Ex-Servicemen population is below 2,500 by setting up polyclinics which are within reasonable distance from Ex-Servicemen concentrations.
The Cabinet also approved reorganization and strengthening the Central Organisation ECHS by suitably increasing the manpower. It has authorized additional manpower – 2263 in number on contractual basis, to man the additional 199 polyclinics. It has also authorized 315 serving personnel – 60 officers and 255 PBORs, for proposed regional centres and seven officers and 15 PBORs for Central Organisation ECHS.
Financial implications towards creation of infrastructure will be about Rs.141 crore. This will entail a capital expenditure of Rs. 118.52 crore towards cost of land, construction and medical equipment. An amount of Rs. 22.25 crore of expenditure will cover purchase of furniture etc, and IT hardware. On the recurring side, an expenditure of Rs.43 crore per annum is envisaged.
It may be recalled that the ECHS was introduced on April 01, 2003 to provide comprehensive medical coverage to Ex-Servicemen pensioners, war widows and dependents by establishing 227 polyclinics at stations with Ex-Servicemen population above 2500 throughout the country. 106 polyclinics are at military stations and 121 polyclinics are at non-military stations. Where the Ex-Servicemen population is less than 2,500, the Ex-Servicemen face hardships in reaching polyclinics because of the distance. There are over 30 lakh ECHS beneficiaries now. On an average 60,000 Servicemen retire every year and this results in a further addition of 60,000 Ex-Servicemen and 1,44,000 dependents to the list of beneficiaries each year. Over 7 lakh Ex-Servicemen, who retired prior to April 01, 2003 have not opted for the scheme primarily due to non-availability of polyclinics near their places of residence. There are also insufficient number of regional centres to monitor the polyclinics.
Click here for list of additional polyclinics planned to be established
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