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Adjutant General, South Block, New Delhi – 110 011 2. Director General of Armed Forces Medical Services, M-Block, Army HQ, New Delhi – 110 001 3. Director MS (Health), o/o DGMS (Army), L-Block, Army HQ, New Delhi – 110 011 4. Director (Medical), Room No 242-A, A-Wing, Sena Bhawan, DHQ PO, New Delhi – 110 011
Memo No 14/1/2W/2009/Med/1393-1396 20 July 2009
Sub :- Availability of medical facilities to non-pensioners such as ECOs and SSCOs who have been granted the status of ‘ex-servicemen’ and the need for sensitising service medical establishments about Govt of India policy on reimbursement of medical expenses for major surgeries of such non-pensioner exservicemen 1. Please refer to the following :(a)
Govt of India, Min of Def letter No 44047/DGAFMS/DGIC/2372/96/D(Med) dated 26 Sep 1996 (copy enclosed as Annexure-1) Army Order 08 of 1998 (Annexure-2) Govt of India, Min of Def, Kendriya Sainik Board letter dated 19 May 1997 (Annexure-3) Govt of India, Min of Def, Kendriya Sainik Board letter dated 07 Jan 2000 (Annexure-4) Govt of India, Min of Def, Kendriya Sainik Board letter dated 08 Nov 2004 (Annuexure-5)
Prior to 26 Sept 1996, medical attendance / facilities in Service Medical Establishments were only available to pensioners of the defence services as per Paragraph 296 (O) of the Regulations of the Medical Services for Armed Forces (RMSAF in short). These were the categories of individuals entitled to medical facilities till 26 Sept 1996 : (i) (ii) (iii) Ex-Service Pensioners Families of Ex-Service Pensioners Families of deceased personnel drawing pension of some kind
However Govt of India took a conscious decision in the year 1996 to include under the ambit of medical facilities all personnel who had been grated the status of ‘ex-servicemen’ according to Department of Personnel and Training definition from time to time. Accordingly, a Presidential sanction was issued on 26 Sept
1996 amending Para 296 (O) of RMSAF wherein the term ‘ex-service pensioners’ was replaced by the term ‘ex-servicemen’ leading to the following regime of new entitlement as per the enclosed Annexure-1 : (i) Ex-Servicemen covered under the definition of ‘ExServiceman’ issued by Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) from time to time Families of Ex-Servicemen Families of deceased personnel drawing pension of some kind.
4. Consequently, even the relevant Army Order (10/97) was suitably amended under the hand and seal of the Chief Of the Army Staff through the Adjutant General and the term ‘ex-service pensioners’ was replaced by the term ‘ex-servicemen’ hence eliminating the requirement of pension for the purposes of limited medical facilities in service medical establishments. The amendment vide AO 08/98 is enclosed herewith as Annexure-2. It is however regretted that neither have these amendments to RMSAF and AOs been made known to service medical establishments all over the country nor are non-pensioner ex-servicemen being universally granted facilities which have been duly approved through a Presidential sanction. As it is, medical facilities are only available to exservicemen who are not re-employed in civil organisations and the number of such entitled non-pensioner ex-servicemen is not very large. It is regrettably not being appreciated by the medical establishment that the fact that the term ‘pensioner’ has been removed clearly points out that ex-servicemen who are nonpensioners are also now entitled to medical facilities. There was no requirement of removal of the term ‘pensioner’ from Para 296 (O) if the facility was not to be extended to non-pensioners. It is also important to point out here that though medical facilities are available to non-pensioner ex-servicemen, but after the lifetime of an ex-serviceman, the facility is only available to families of deceased personnel who are in receipt of a pension of any kind. Hence, facilities to nonpensioner ex-servicemen and their families are only restricted during the life-time of the ex-serviceman. 5. The problem of lack of awareness of this issue is now also percolating down to the functioning of the system of re-imbursement of major medical surgeries of non-pensioners. Though non-pensioner ex-servicemen are entitled to medical facilities as above, they are not authorised to become members of Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) and the reimbursement system to be followed for non-pensioners is different than that of ECHS applicable to pensioners. While ex-service pensioners are covered under the Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme, non-pensioner ex-servicemen are covered by medical reimbursement scheme of the Kendriya Sainik Board (KSB) wherein serious diseases of non-pensioners can be treated at civil hospitals and 60% of expenditure of officers and 75% of PBOR can be borne by the KSB by following the procedure mentioned in Para 5 of Govt of India letter dated 07 Jan 2000 (Annexure-4). The rates were further increased to 75% and 90% for Officers and PBOR respectively by Govt of India, MoD, KSB Letter No 102/KSB/AFFDF/6th MC/Progress/2001/D dated 09 Jan 2001. Moreover, non-pensioner ExServicemen can also report for by-pass surgery at Army Hospital (R&R) Delhi and MH (CTC) Pune, the cost of which can be reimbursed to the hospital as per terms of Govt of India letter dated 19 May 1997 (Annexure-3). Please note that the above mentioned letters for reimbursement are now applicable only to non-pensioner ex-servicemen such as SSCOs and ECOs as per Para 5 of Govt of India letter dated 08 Nov 2004 (Annexure-5). 6. Just as the facilities of ECHS are only available to pensioner Ex-Servicemen, the above mentioned re-imbursement facilities are only extended to non-pensioner exservicemen who are not in receipt of any financial assistance and the same is made clear in Para 5 of Govt of India Letter dated 08 Nov 2004 (Annexure-5) and
Para 3 (d) of Govt of India letter dated 19 May 1997 (Annexure-3). The unfortunate part however is that for availing such facilities, non-pensioner exservicemen have to first visit a service medical establishment for a reference / certificate that the said facility is not available in the MH vide Para 3 (e) of Govt of India letter dated 19 May 1997 (Annexure-3) and Para 5 of Govt of India letter dated 07 Jan 2000 (Annexure-4) but most service medical establishments refuse to even entertain non-pensioner ex-servicemen leading to the redundancy and failure of the entire scheme for non-pensioners initiated by Govt of India. When the above mentioned Govt of India letters for non-pensioner ex-servicemen clearly provide that to avail re-imbursement for treatment from civil hospitals, such nonpensioner ex-servicemen first have to visit service medical establishments, then service medical establishments are totally bound to accept non-pensioner exservicemen for treatment. 7. You are requested to undertake the following to ensure that facilities provided by Govt of India to non-pensioner ex-servicemen are not rendered redundant :(a) Issue and circulate a copy of the amendment of Para 296 (O) dated 26 Sept 1996 (Annexure-1) to all military medical establishments which signifies that the term ‘ex-service pensioner’ has been replaced by the term ‘exservicemen’. Issue instructions to all defence medical establishments to provide medical attendance / services to SSC/EC Officers with immediate effect. (b) Circulate a copy of AO 08 / 98 (Annexure-2) to all service medical establishments which also provides that the term ‘ex-service pensioners’ stands replaced by ‘ex-servicemen’. (c) Circulate a copy each of Govt of India letters dated 19 May 1997, 07 Jan 2000 and 08 Nov 2004 (Annexures 3 to 5) to all service medical establishments so as to sensitise them of the procedure of medical reimbursement for non-pensioner ex-servicemen. It may be pointed out that the copies had already been endorsed to your office at the time of issuance. (d) Sensitise service medical establishments to accept all ex-servicemen irrespective of ‘pensioner’ status on production of the ‘ex-serviceman identity card’ issued by Sainik Boards which are the competent authorities to issue the same for availing all such schemes meant for ex-servicemen. 8. An early action is requested please since the issue has legal as well as emotional connotations. Sd/(IS Gakhal) Brig (Retd) Director Copy to : 1. Kendriya Sainik Board, West Block-IV, RK Puram, New Delhi – 110 066 : With a request to advise all addressees to follow the Govt of India directions in letter and spirit 2. Director General Resettlement, Govt of India, Ministry of Defence, West Block-IV, Wing-V, RK Puram, New Delhi – 110 066 : Ditto 3. Commandant, Command Hospital, Western Command, Chandimandir, Distt Panchkula, Haryana : For information
4. A Branch, HQ Western Command, Chandimandir, Distt Panchkula, Haryana : For information
Extract ARMY ORDER 08 of 1998
AO 10/97 is amended as follows : (a)The term “Ex-Service Pensioner” wherever used in the AO is replaced with the term “Ex-Servicemen”