New Delhi: Expanding health benefits for
former defence personnel, government on Wednesday approved a proposal
for setting up of 199 additional polyclinics in areas having
minimum ex-servicemen population of 1,500.
The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh, also gave the go ahead for re-organisation of Central
Organisation Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS)
and extension of ECHS facilities to Nepal Domiciled Gorkhas
(NDGs), an official spokesperson said.
Government will spent Rs 141 crore towards creation of
infrastructure. This will include a capital expenditure of Rs
118.52 crore and recurring expenditure of Rs 43 crore per
annum, the spokesperson said.
With the new facilities, the expanded network envisages
426 polyclinics in 343 districts of the country which will
benefit about 33 lakh ex-servicemen residing in remote and
The ECHS was introduced with effect from April one, 2003,
to provide comprehensive medical coverage to ex-servicemen
pensioners, war window and dependents by establishing 227
Such polyclinics have been set up at stations with
ex-servicemen population above 2500. However, a large segment
of ex-servicemen are staying at locations where there is no
ECHS Polyclinic within a radius of 200 to 300 km causing great
inconvenience in accessing medical facilities for them.
To address this problem, 199 polyclinics will be
established in those places with minimum ex-servicemen
population of 1500, the spokesperson said.
The expansion of ECHS will provide easy access to health
facilities for such ex-servicemen and their dependents.
The Cabinet also approved extension of ECHS facilities
to NDGs. There are about 1,00,000 ex-servicemen and their
dependents domiciled in Nepal who will benefit from the ECHS.
The cost of providing health care at the existing rates
to 1,00,000 NDGs along with their dependents will be about Rs
85 crore per year. The scheme will cover all the ex-servicemen
of Indian Armed Forces and dependents domiciled in Nepal.
They will be entitled for medical treatment under ECHS
Scheme at Polyclinics, military hospitals and ECHS-empanelled
civil hospitals in India. Emergency treatment in India under
existing provisions will also be available.