Pune: The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has approved treatment under Ayush (Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy) for Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) beneficiaries. Also, to meet the aspirations of a large number of veterans, the Central government has allowed ECHS patients to claim travel allowances as entitled for the rank at the time of retirement for rail journeys/travel by government transport.
“Till now, only allopathic system of treatment was allowed in ECHS. There were rising aspirations on part of ECHS beneficiaries to get AYUSH treatment. In a major significant move, the MoD has now authorised AYUSH treatment for all ECHS beneficiaries. In the current approved authorisation, treatment in government AYUSH hospitals is permitted on a reimbursement basis at full rates including medicines prescribed. Permission can be taken from OIC PC/Dir RC/ CO ECHS as decided by the patient. Only one system of treatment is allowed at any point of time,” the Indian Army tweeted on Friday.
In another development, ECHS patients have been permitted to claim travel allowance as entitled for the rank at the time of retirement for rail journeys/travel by government transport. Air travel has been authorised only in medical emergencies on certification of the medical officer and OIC polyclinic.
“Patients were facing difficulty in claiming their travel entitlement when travelling in own transport/using private transport. In a significant move to assist all ECHS patients, MoD allows travelling allowance by all modes of transport including sea and river streamer while limiting the same to an entitled class of travel when treatment is not available in the concerned station,” the Army tweet states.
What is ECHS?
ECHS is a flagship scheme of the Ministry of Defence, Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare. The aim of the scheme is to provide quality healthcare to ex-servicemen pensioners and their dependents. 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 Government of India. There are 424 operational ECHS polyclinics covering 347 districts in the country with approximately 52 lakh beneficiaries.