Retired JCOs NCOs may be Appointed as OIC Polyclinic : Removal of Discrimination at ECHS demanded ESM Association

echs polyclinics reforms

According to the provisions enshrined in Constitution of India, all citizens including pensioners/veterans, before the eyes of law,  are treated equally whether he served in officers rank or other ranks.

But it has been observed that the policy makers and executors of  ECHS who claimed themselves as authority, have ignored the fact that the government treats retired  officers and retired PBOR equally as applicable to other citizens. To quote an example, both are issed same ration card and same benefit of govt schemes.

It never been considered that whether you were in Officers cadre or OR. No preferential treatment is applicable to retired officers. This is uniform execution of government’s policy. But this policy is hijacked by officers controlling the welfare organisations of veterans i.e ECHS, CSD etc.

To get the membership of ECHS, one-time contribution of Rs. 1,20,000/-  is collected from officers,
Rs. 67,000/-  from JCOs and Rs.30,000/-  from NCOs and below ranks which may be explained in the screen of reality. This thing has been created a false impression that officers pay more and the PBOR are paying less. The truth is quite the opposite if we notice the reality with a simple calculations.

Tens of thousands of military personnel retire after 15 years of service from the Armed Forces, around 34/35 years of age. 90% of them (PBOR) don’t need medical treatment till they are 60.

Many retirees live in rural area far away from polyclinics. They won’t go to distant polyclinics for treatment.  In addition, many ESM proceeds to Gulf or others countries or other States for work. They also don’t depend on ECHS. Thus ECHS saves a large amount from these personnel. Thousands and lakhs of PBOR ESM who never visited ECHS due to discriminatory policy, Dictatorship attitude of some Clinic management authority and ranks bias.

A large percentage of ECHS beneficiaries belongs to PBOR category retires after completion of only 15-16 years of service. Contribution of such ESM for a sum of Rs. 30,000/- remains locked in ECHS for next 25 years, mostly unused on them, till they reach 60. Under fixed deposit schemes, a deposit of Rs. 30,000/- becomes 60,000/-  in 8  years, in 16 years  it becomes 1,20,000, in 24 years it doubles to Rs. 2,40,000.

Their monthly contribution of Rs. 1000 for 24 years becomes Rs. 2,88,000. If Rs.1000 per month is put in RD (recurring deposit), for 24 years it becomes around Rs. 3,50,000 in 24 years. Thus a grand total of rupees 3,50,000 + 2,40,000 =  5,90,000 goes into ECHS funds when they are around 58/59 years of age.

Let us take the average life span as 80. A Jawan retiring at 35 pays rupees Rs 1000 as monthly contribution for 45 years. An officer retiring at 56 pays for 24 years only. Here also a Jawan pays more than an officer. Yet, he gets the short end of the stick.

A retired officer paying Rupees 1,20,000/-  gets a private room in empanelled hospitals, whereas a retired PBOR even after paying Rupees 5,90,0 00 as stated above, gets the general ward. This is against natural justice, and a classic example of disparity and discrimination with rank bias even after retirement.

If the contributions of Naiks, Havildars and JCOs who retire after completing their tenure of service are calculated as stated at Para 4 above, it is much higher than officers.

The strength of officers in ECHS is around three percent as against 97 percent of PBOR. With three percent of officers’ contribution alone, ECHS cannot run, and they won’t get the facilities they are enjoying now. To provide this to officers, and to provide salaries to OsiC polyclinics, the contributions from 97% of PBOR is used.  The PBOR who pays more gets less. The officers who pay less gets more comforts, facilities and re-employment as OsiC polyclinics on Rs. 75,000 salary. This is mockery of justice. This is like robbing Peter to pay Pay Paul.

In order to get justice and equal rights to the PBOR, the Exservicemen Association should take up the following points directly with the top brass of ECHS.

(a)          The PBOR should be given private rooms in empanelled hospitals;

(b)          Patients referred to empanelled hospitals as outpatients should get their medicines free from there. They shouldn’t be made to go back to their polyclinics for medicines; as collection of medicineit proved to Beyond economical activity.

(c)          By paying a One Time Contribution of Rs. 30,000 and Rs. 67,000 as stated above, the PBOR have already paid more than officers did, therefore stop deducting rupees thousand ( non payment of medical allowance) every month from the monthly pension of the PBOR.

(d)         There are many retired PBOR who are more qualified and experienced than officers. PBOR are now managing huge responsibilities in Govt and corporate sector which are obviously higher than the post of OIC Polyclinic. Therefore, ECHS should appoint Officers in Charge of polyclinics through competitive examinations open to all ranks so that PBOR also get the chance. The present system of appointing only officers in the post of OsiC should be discontinued.

(e)           Nobody except the top ECHS brasses know how much money comes into the ECHS funds, where it goes, who spends it and on what are the flow chart of fund. The CAG should conduct yearly audit and the report should be shared to all subscribers /members/beneficiaries and must be placed on the notice boards of every Polyclinic.

(f)             If MD ECHS disagree with the demand above, we should think about resorting to Gandhian method of satyagraha before all polyclinics till our demands are met. Remember the idiom “the squeaky wheel gets the grease.” If we don’t react, we won’t get anything.

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