Reference: Army Research and Referral Hospital Retrogrades ESM Health Care
Dear Gen (MD ECHS),
pl refer to above mail a copy of which has been endorsed to you. Being intimately involved in ECHS matters I would like to fully endorse the views of Gen Satbir. As I have said repeatedly the instances of mil hosps across the Country treating ESMs as an unwelcome load is more than adequately proven. The reasons are also well known . The armed forces medical fraternity feels that, the General Staff has appropriated to itself a function that legitimately belongs to them. This turf war between the two is unfortunately affecting the veteran population. What both sides to this unfortunate conflict fail to realise is that every serving soldier is 'a soon to be' veteran. What mil hosps fail to realise is that unlike the past where mil hosps were mandated to treat veterans based on availability of facilities and the OC hosps discretion, the situation today is quite different. Veterans today have contributed to the Scheme and can therefore demand medical cover from anyone tasked to provide cover under the scheme, which includes, empanelled hosps AND MIL HOSPS. We already have some ESMs approaching courts and tribunals in this matter. The next most unfortunate step will be ESMs going to Court against the Service hierarchy. THAT WILL BE A VERY TRAGIC DAY but will give our Babu hierarchy another reason to celebrate. Could these views please be passed on to the Chief and AG.
Brig Sateesh Kuthiala.
Date: Fri, 6 May 2011 09:28:07 -0700
Dear Brig Kuthiala,
Last month of Apr saw ECHS being the focus of deliberations:
#5&6 Apr-at Chandigarh attended by reps of the three services, AG, Army Cdr, MG-IC-Adms of all Army Commands etc.
#Chief of COSC took up pending ECHS issues with Hon'ble RM.
#25 Apr-Improving Medicare in ECHS-attended by Secy ESW, Secy Def FInance & ECHS.
#26 Apr-Meeting with MoD chaired by COAS & Def Secy.
#27 Apr-Managing ECHS- agenda during Army Cdrs' Conf.
#28 Apr-Improving ECHS-review by RRM.
Also on 5 Apr ECHS 24X7 Helpline was launched by Army Cdr Western Comd.
COAS gave absolutely unambiguous directions to entire hierarchy. Armed Forces own ECHS, are the greatest stakeholders and would do all to improve and sustain it. Central Organisation is closely monitoring implementation of the COAS directions.
Offg DG AFMS is aware of the issues raised and has promised full support to ECHS including opening of ECHS wings in MHs where required.
On specifics now, You would recall that AHRR had as per earlier load appreciation only offered to treat ESM for Cardiology, Joint Replacement and Eye. Oncology treatment had not been made available and was ltd to consultation only. Brig AK Dhar and his specialty is overloaded and serving soldiers have to register at the reception and then at malignancy centre and thereafter wait for at least 2 to 3 hours in their turn.
What is not at all correct that for surgery patient has to get drugs and consumables from ECHS. We will resolve the issue immediately. Nothing is required to be carried (just recd a call confirming this from AHRR).
Navy and AF have been insisting on treating ECHS members in their own hospitals. Based on the request from the environment, we had to request them not to so insist as ECHS patients prefer treatment in hospitals nearer home rather than travelling to far away in heartless cities with no support. To enable full capacity utilisation of service hospitals for treating ESM, ECHS has started augmenting them with addl doctors. Gen Mathews (ex Comdt AHRR) has joined at Kochi. Hopefully more would join. Not for the compensation but for service to their brethren.
We are trying to improve things, pushing through odds. Team ECHS is constantly at work. Join in. All are welcome!
From: brig sateesh kuthiala
Sent: 07 May 2011 09:49
Dear Brig Kamboj,
please see trailing mail (Gen Satbirs letter, my follow up and MDs response). Whereas there are problems and improvement is an ongoing process; what is heartening is the fact that we have an extremely caring and supportive Central Org ECHS. Whereas I can see that all questions with regards to Gen Satbirs letter have not been addressed specially with regards to why Army Hosps who have accepted to cater to ESMs cannot provide TOTAL treatment from consultation to post discharge care as required, I am of the opinion that we continue to give feed back and given the present totally positive response, matters will continue to improve. I am also aware that there are a number of veterans who feel that there are faults in the present org structure and micro management will not take us too far; we also need to look at the matter from the Service HQs point of view. Our top Services hierarchy is as committed to this cause as anyone can be. Those of us who have served at the Army HQ level and dealt with the MOD know only too well how Babudom and Netagiri function. These two roadblocks are a 'GIVEN' in any effort that we may make towards improvement in OROP-Pensions-Medicare and every other matter. So we will just have to 'Bash on Regardless'
May i request you to pass this on as a package to the environment.
Brig Sateesh Kuthiala (Retd)
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