Lack of funds allocated to the ECHS resulting in shortfall in the supply of essential medicines
GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF DEFENCE
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO 913
ANSWERED ON 27.02.2015
EX SERVICEMEN CONTRIBUTORY HEALTH SCHEME
913 . Nayak Shri B.V.
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 details thereof and the reasons therefor; and
(c) the corrective measures Government has taken / proposes to take to provide for the healthcare of ex-servicemen?
MINISTER OF STATE (RAO INDERJIT SINGH) IN THE MINISTRY OF DEFENCE
(a) & (b): There have been no specific complaints regarding misuse of funds. However, there are some complaints about lack of funds allocated to the ECHS. The budget allocated at Budget Estimate stage was less than projected estimate and additional funds were allocated at Revised Estimate (RE) stage. The shortfall of medicines is not directly related to lack of funds and it is attributed to procedure involved in procurement of medicines. Some private hospitals have withdrawn their services from ECHS due to various reasons including low rates, delay in clearance of bills etc.
(c) The steps taken by the Government to improve health care under ECHS include sanction of additional manpower to ECHS polyclinics, revision of remuneration, bringing all 28 Regional Centres under online billing mode for timely processing and payment of medical bills of empanelled facilities, upgrading ECHS Card, empanelment of more medical facilities etc.