GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
Ministry of Defence
DEPARTMENT OF EX-SERVICEMEN WELFARE
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO. 958
ANSWERED ON MARCH 6, 2013
Misuse of Funds Allocated for Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health (ECH) Scheme
958. SHRI RAJEEV CHANDRASEKHAR:
Will the Minister of DEFENCE be pleased to state:
(a) whether there have been complaints about the misuse/lack of funds allocated for the Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS), resulting in shortfall in the supply of essential medicines, and withdrawal of empanelled hospitals due to non-clearance of bills;
(b) if so, the reasons therefor; and
(c) what corrective measures Government has taken / proposes to take to provide for the healthcare of ex-servicemen?
MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF DEFENCE
(SHRI JITENDRA SINGH)
(a) Yes, Sir.
(b) (1) Budgetary constraints.
(2) Inability of existing system of medicine supply to meet requirement of ECHS Polyclinics spread across the Country.
(3) Delays in manual processing of hospital bills.
(c) (1) The Government has allotted additional budget to meet the requirement of ECHS. In the current financial year, ECHS was initially allotted Rs. 1000.00 Crores. Subsequently additional budget allotted to ECHS is as follows:-
(i) Rs. 400.00 Crores on 9th August, 2012.
(ii) Rs. 102.86 Crores on 18th February, 2013.
(iii) Rs. 100.00 Crores on 25th February, 2013.
(2) To improve the supply of medicines to ECHS beneficiaries, the Government is considering outsourcing of pharmacy operations in ECHS Polyclinics.
(3) For timely clearance of hospital bills, the Government has sanctioned a system of computerized on-line bill processing.