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Organisation : Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare
Facility : Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme ECHS

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Ex-Servicemen Health Scheme:

Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) was launched with effect from 01 April 2003.

Related : DESW ECHS Grievances Redressal Mechanism :

The Scheme aims to provide allopathic medicare to Ex-servicemen pensioner and their dependents through a network of ECHS Polyclinics, Service medical facilities and civil empanelled/Govt hospitals spread across the country.

The Scheme has been structured on the lines of CGHS to ensure cashless transactions, as far as possible, for the patients and is financed by the Govt of India.

2. ECHS is a flagship Scheme of the Ministry of Defence, Department of Ex-Servicemen Welafre. The aim of Scheme is to provide quality healthcare of Ex-servicemen pensioners and their dependents. As on date, a total of 13,48,517 Ex-servicemen have enlisted with the Scheme alongwith 30,03,577 dependents. Total beneficiaries of the Scheme, thus amount to 43,52,094.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. There are 28 Regional Centres sanctioned by the Govt, of which 26 Regional Centres are functional. All efforts are being made to make the remainder Regional Centres functional at the earliest possible.

6. 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 and through civil hospitals empanelled with ECHS.

7. Polyclinics are categorized as Type A to E based on the number of Ex-servicemen residing in that area. They are:-
(a) Type A – Above 20,000
(b) Type B – Above 10,000
(c) Type C – Above 5,000
(d) Type D – Above 1,500
(e) Type E (Mobile) – Above 800 (for remote areas)

Expansion of ECHS Network :
8. Expansion of ECHS network was approved by the Govt in Oct 2010 by sanctioning 182 additional polyclinics and 17 mobile clinics, making a total of 426 ECHS Polyclinics Out of 426 sanction polyclinics, 355 policlinics are operational as on 25 Jun 2013.

The details are as under:-
Initial Additional Total
(a) Military Stations 106 06 112
(b) Non Military Stations 121 176 297
(c) Mobile Clinics – 17 17
227 199 426

Eligibility Criteria :
9. Eligibility For ECHS Membership. The Scheme caters for medical care to all ESM pensioners including those earning Disability and Family Pension and their dependents, which includes wife/husband, legitimate children and wholly dependent parents.

To be eligible for membership of ECHS, a person must meet the following twin conditions:-
(a) Should have ESM status.
(b) Should be drawing normal Service /Disability/ Family Pension.

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