Shifting of ECHS command from Sarkaghat opposed : The Tribune India

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Shifting of ECHS command from Sarkaghat opposed

Shifting of ECHS command from Sarkaghat opposed


Tribune News Service

Mandi, April 17

The beneficiary ex-servicemen (ESM) have opposed the shifting of command and control of ECHS (Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme) from Sarkaghat subdivision in Mandi district.

Captain Jagdish Verma (retd), chairman of the United Front of ESM (JCOs & OR), Himachal Pradesh, said till now over 18,000 ESM, Veer Naries and their dependant family members were getting facilities in ECHS, Polyclinic Sarkaghat. Because the command and control of this polyclinic was with Regional ECHS Office, Chandimandir, all the reimbursement of medical bills used to be from there and for specialty medical cover the patients were being referred to Mohali and Chandigarh in the ECHS empanelled hospitals.

Will result in lot of inconvenience

Shifting of command and control of the ECHS Polyclinic Sarkaghat to Yol Cantt will result in a lot of inconvenience to the defence retirees and their families because now for reimbursement of bills or any related matter they will be forced to visit Yol Cantt. —Captain Jagdish Verma (Retd)

“However, in a recent move, the Army Headquarter, in a communication dated March 27, the command and control of the ECHS Polyclinic, Sarkaghat, stands transferred to Regional ECHS Centre, Yol Cantt in Kangra,” he said.

“Shifting of command and control of the ECHS Polyclinic Sarkaghat to Yol Cantt will result in a lot of inconvenience to the defence retirees and their families because now for reimbursement of bills or any related matter they will be forced to visit Yol Cantt. Apart from this, the patients referral will also be made to Hamirpur, Kangra, area in ECHS empanelled hospital for specialist treatment,” he said.

“Due to topography of the Sarkaghat region and road/bus connectivity, it was easier to go to Mohali and Chandigarh than to Kangra and Yol area. Since it is contributory scheme, views of beneficiaries was essential for such a move. However, views of beneficiaries, who are mostly Junior Commissioned Officers and Other Ranks and their families, were not taken,” he added.

“In order to stop shifting of command and control we have sent a communication to Secretary, Minister of defence, Government of India, Headquarter, Western Command, Chandimandir, with a request not to shift it because it is unfriendly to the beneficiaries and also no views were sought and taken into consideration in this regard,” said Jagdish.

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