Ex-servicemen form nationwide network to assist fellow veterans in getting treatment for COVID-19

In addition, about 100 veteran doctors have also joined the network for rendering advice and help

Ex-servicemen form nationwide network to assist fellow veterans in getting treatment for COVID-19

Photo for representation.

Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 10

After some retired armed forces personnel succumbed to COVID-19 because they could not get medical treatment, ex-servicemen associations across the country have joined hands to create a nationwide network of ‘quick reaction teams’ to assist and guide veterans.

Going under the banner of United Front of Ex-servicemen, based at Mohali, it is liaising with Army authorities and veterans’ cells in various military stations for helping veterans get proper medical care in the nearest military hospitals.

“It is very encouraging that many ex-servicemen organisations and NGOs have joined us in this mission and have been successful in helping out thousands of veterans and their family members from all three services,” Lt Col SS Sohi (retd), president of the front, said.

After the civilian medical services were overwhelmed by the massive spike in COVID-19 cases in April 2021, veterans started suffering due to non-availability of facilities in empanelled hospitals where they were entitled treatment under the Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS).

“We wrote to the Army chief and General Officers Commanding-in-Chief of all Army Commands, following which many veterans and their families who were suffering from COVID-19 were admitted in military hospitals,” Col Sohi said.

The Army issued advisories, activated ex-servicemen cells and set up helplines.

Orders were also issued by the Defence Minister and the Directorate General Armed Forces Medical Services on the modalities to be adopted for providing medi-care to veterans, augmenting facilities in health-care centres and procurements of medical supplies and equipment.  

Three officers, Col Sohi in Mohali, Col Dinesh Nain in Panchkula and Col Bedi in Pune are constantly in touch with Army authorities and are getting hundreds of calls daily from veterans from all over the country who are in need for medical treatment.

In addition, about 100 veteran doctors have also joined the network for rendering advice and help.

The front is also assisting veterans who are in quarantine at home as well as for reimbursement of bills of civilian hospitals where needed.

It is also providing information on charity organisations and voluntary donors engaged in providing oxygen, beds and other medical facilities.

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