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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The (mis)interpreters at the office of DGAFMS strike again : act in absolute contravention of Army Order and Presidential sanction

Let me start by saying that I hold AMC officers and the establishment of DGAFMS in high regard. But sometimes I wonder if some officers at the DGAFMS take themselves to be a separate entity than the regular army just because the office of DGAFMS comes directly under the MoD. Or if they feel that Orders issued by the COAS or Presidential sanctions issued by the MoD have no effect on them. I also wonder if they are keeping the top brass at M-Block informed of the policy letters they float.

I’m referring to the recent chaos that they have created by writing to all Commands that Short Service Commissioned Officers and Emergency Commissioned Officers (SSCOs and ECOs) are not entitled to medical facilities in MHs and that these facilities are only available to ex-service pensioners.

Bad one.

Earlier, Medical facilities were only available to the following categories of retired defence personnel :

(i) Ex-Service Pensioners

(ii) Families of Ex-Service Pensioners

(iii) Families of deceased personnel drawing pension of some kind

Then in the year 1996, the Ministry of Defence in the name of HE The President of India directed that the term ‘Ex-Service Pensioners’ shall be replaced by the term ‘Ex-Servicemen’ thus leading to the following entitled categories with effect from 26 Sept 1996 :

(i) Ex-Servicemen covered under the definition of ‘Ex- Serviceman’ issued by Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) from time to time

(ii) Families of Ex-Servicemen

(iii) Families of deceased personnel drawing pension of some kind.

As can be seen on a bare perusal of the Presidential Sanction (1996) and subsequent clarification by the office of DGAFMS (1997) by clicking here, the MoD for purposes of medical entitlement had simply adopted the definition of ‘ex-servicemen’ issued by the Department of Personnel and Training. Resultantly, all ex-servicemen irrespective of ‘pensioner’ status became entitled to medical facilities. This included all personnel released after completion of terms of engagement such as SSCOs and ECOs too. Medical entitlement cards were also issued by the AG's Branch to SSCOs and ECOs after the Govt sanction which are valid till date.

In 1998, an amendment to the existing Army Order on the subject of entitlement was also issued vide AO 08/98 whereby the term ‘ex-service pensioners’ was replaced by the new term ‘ex-servicemen’, needless to say, the AO was issued under the hand and seal of the COAS. The following was explicitly stated in the AO 08/98 :

“AO 10/97 is amended as follows :- (a) The term ‘Ex Service Pensioners wherever used in the AO is replaced with the term ‘Ex Servicemen’.”

Fast forward 2008/2009. Some officer in the office of DGAFMS has now circulated a letter (which is some vague response to a communication dealing with some RTI Application) to all Commands stating therein that medical facilities are only available to ex-service pensioners (time warp ?). The reason provided in the document is that the entitlement for medical facilities being quoted has been issued by the DoPT and not by the Army or the MoD and that the DoPT has no jurisdiction over medical facilities in the forces. Such an action puts on record the fact that the officer floating this letter has not just acted on hearsay but has also failed to even take a cursory look at the letter issued by the MoD or AO 08/98. The facility has not been granted by the DoPT. It has been granted by the MoD which has merely adopted for medical facilities the definition of ‘ex-servicemen’ as issued by DoPT. It doesn’t take a genius to figure that out.

Ostensibly conveyed to reduce burden on MHs, such a move is in bad taste and in direct contravention of orders issued by the COAS and the govt. The problem is the lack of co-ordination and lack of stability in appointments dealing with welfare issues. More interesting is the fact that the office of DGAFMS has not issued any clear cut directions on withdrawl of such facilities but has merely appended some RTI related document mentioning that non-pensioners are not entitled to medical facilities.

Wherever we are, we should inform the medical establishment of the illegality of any such order. And the fact that MHs are now refusing to recognize Medical Entitlement Cards issued to SSCOs and ECOs by the AG's branch is something that should be taken up by the Services Headquarters strongly with the Medical Branch. While senior AMC officers understandably would not be having time to peruse such correspondence, they still should be careful of what goes out as policy letters from the M-Block, if there is dearth of administrative expertise then help may be taken from the AG's Branch. These released officers are our own, some ECOs are in the twilight of their lives and the office of DGAFMS damn well has to function under the orders and control of the COAS and within the four corners of Army Orders which are very much applicable to medical branch too. And in any case, these released officers are entitled to limited medical cover only, since the ECHS is limited in its application just to pensioners. That's why I time and again say that before blaming external forces, we need to look within and discard these self-imposed fetters.


Anonymous said...

What the..... Who the..... Why the....? This is all I could conjure up on reading this post. Incredulous! I only hope corrective action is taken and time warp is removed.

Anonymous said...

I think that since the issues ofe SPC have more or less been sorted out ... its time to turn to a little bit of introspection a closer look at ourselves, our departments and our way of functioning ... lot needs to be in various areas ... lets all get our house in order and improve ourselves and then it would be easier to address the atrocities meted out to us. Lets consider one branch at a time and within few months it would be a much better org. Lets start with medical corps ... any other shortcomings may be presented lets all improve ourselves....

Anonymous said...


Thank You for putting us wise.
A look at the MOD letter leaves no doubt that all ESM are now entitled and that is why the ex-service 'pensioner' word was deleted and ex-servicemen added instead.

After going through your blog, I have already issued orders to all in my Command not to refuse SS offrs in MHs. To hell with these jokers at DGAFMS. It would have been blasphemy had we refused these officers on the basis of a such a communication when orders by MOD are so clear.

Thank you once again.

Anonymous said...

Only the men who were drawing some kind of pension should be eligible for treatment at Military Hospitals.The instructions issued by the office of DGAFMS is correct.Otherwise people who ran away or those who were chucked out also will say they are ESM and claim for treatment at Military Hospitals.

Anonymous said...

Oh yes! "We definitely got to sort out the "jokers" at DGAFMS office".
I wonder who are the "gentlemen" posting in this blog. Whatever happened to their language?
As about entitlement, I wonder why weren't retired short service & EC officers allowed to join ECHS when all ex-servicemen are entitled? There must be more to it than meets the eye. Let's see how this one turns out!

As about AMC, it is still working at its authorised strength sanctioned in 1970s. The workload has increased probably 20-30 times since then, with everybody desiring super-speciality care. With the same manpower & phenomenally increased workload, AMC has been doing a job which will never be able to satisfy everyone. Let's empathize with the "Jokers" and not ridicule them.

As about the senior officer who has posted in this blog that he has issued orders in his command, will he tell us that his orders supercede that of office of DGAFMS?

Harpal Saini said...

Thanks Again. It's an eye opener fact and I think persons responsible for this goof-up, should be sent on posting to Leh Laddakh for a tenure of two to three years. In my opinion, all the problems of such kind will be resolved permanently.

Anonymous said...

Navdeep, The DAPC sanction by the President is also clear i.e it is for all doctors of organised services including Defence and railways. The CGHS & railways have already implemented without caring about rank structure as it is clearly a non functional grade advantage. In spite of the President's ( Supreme Coomander !!!) sanction the Armed Forces are dithering like they do always. God Forbid we make our own Pay Commission ! - we are better of with the ciilian handouts

Anonymous said...

I think a decent solution to all this repeated goof-ups by AMC people is that we should have ECHS like benefits for all serving personnel and their families in peace stations.
Maintain AMC as only a war time organization like TA. Field requirements can be met by much smaller numbers of medical officers as part of TA who go back to their practice after their field commitments are complete.

Military Hospitals in peace areas don't satisfy most of their clientele. Why not disband them and have a ECHS like organisation in place? It's time for CHANGE!!!

Anonymous said...

are officers who take premature release and resign their commission entitled to any ex servicemen benefits?

Anonymous said...


Do you think the DGAFMS is more powerful or legal than the Government of India which has issued the orders in the name of the President ?
For your very kind information, people who are chucked out are not given ESM status. ESM status is either given to people completing their terms of engagement or those boarded out, besides pensioners. Get your facts right first.

@Anonymous - 11.41AM
ECHS is not applicable to all ESM and is only applicable to pensioners. Non-pensioner ESM have been granted OPD facilites by the Ministry of Defence. The DGAFMS is no authority to refuse what has been granted to ESM by govt. Secondly, if you feel that you are overburdened, go ahead and recruit more doctors, you have no authority to refuse patients. Administrative acumen and ability to interpret rules is really lacking in Medical branches of the army and also of the CGHS.

Yes, I'm an AMC officer too like you

Anonymous said...

@ Navdeep Sir,

1. I am indeed thankful to you for preventing me from blogging on your CBOX.

2. I am now able to concentrate on other issues better.

3. Thanks a ton.

Navdeep / Maj Navdeep Singh said...

@Anony at 4.18


Preventing you from blogging ?

I don't think I banned you.
Kindly elaborate.
Please mail me and I'll look into it in case there has been a technical goof up.

Anonymous said...

@Navdeep Sir,

1. One more point I wanna highlight, You also know that there r ways to bypass the block but I wont do it. I will honour your decision.

2.All the best.

Anonymous said...

@Navdeep Sir,

1. The cbox says I m banned. I dont know y.

2. But, Sir I m honestly happy.

3. I will request you with a mail to remove it at the appropriate time.

4. Thank You.

Navdeep / Maj Navdeep Singh said...

@Anony again at 4.28

Read the post above your earlier post. I think you are getting touchy about something that did not actually happen.

Anonymous said...

Comments would be moderated and those with personal attacks or harsh language shall not be posted.
This is what I read, written just above the comment box.
Any way, I never knew, author of this blog has to be told that o/o DGAFMS is part of MoD and not Army(Refers to your last para)

Anonymous said...

@Anony 1710hrs

Yes right you are.
Being a part of the MoD, officers posted at the office of DGAFMS can now claim that they are not 'inferior' to the rank of full General who is our COAS and will not obey AOs issued by him. They can also claim that the Lt Gen of AMC who commands them is a rank superior to a General of the Regular Army. Also gives them a license to claim that the orders of the President do not apply to them.
Keep your kiddish comments to yourself medico. I have gone through the link on this post and it leaves no doubt in my mind that the interpretation of DGAFMS is wrong. I am a serving General officer and a letter was put up to me by my Med branch saying that only pensioners are entitled to med attention in our Hospitals. Well if my eyes serve me right, the word pensioner has been replaced by ESM by the govt way back in 1996.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 1710h

Dear General,

Lets not bicker in public. You with your seniority & age must uphold the dignity of the services. Nobody will claim to outrank the COAS/President etc. Even if they do, it does not behove us to respond immaturely.

Let the O/o the DGAFMS clarify this issue. It will get resolved soon, I am sure. Till then let us not get carried away emotionally.


Anonymous said...

Doctors are given genrous antedate. They also get 25% NPA, I don't know for what? The normal pay they are drawing is for what? Isn't it for their qualification and medical job they are doing? Then what does this NPA stand for?

This is a new drama they are doing to get DACP over and above the doles they are already getting. Why this NPA is not applicable to serving Engrs, Pilots or all other serving personnel? I think it should stop at once. Why special DACP for doctors only? I think we need to get equality for all inhouse first before blaming politicians or babus.

Anonymous said...

While on the subject, I would also like to point out another strange order issued by the DGAFMS. As per DGAFMS orders , retired officers cannot avail the facilities at the MI rooms. Therefore, the AFC in Delhi does not entertain retired personnel. It however does cater to the MoD civilians !!! Some loyalties these. This is quite obviously intended to curry favour with the bureaucrats while giving the boot to ex-servicemen. The DHAFMS brass have also found it fit to allow use of R&R facilities to civilians of the MoD which are not so easily accessible to even serving personnel. Cases exist where non-gazetted civilians are admitted to officers wards on the strength of a chit given by the PS of some minister or bureacrat in the MoD !!!

doc_atlarge said...

Whatever the issue, it needs to be taken up at the correct forum instead of making fools of ourselves in public...and that includes a serving Gen offr.
The senior service officers tend to treat the doctors the way the civil service treats these people.
The DACP for doctors is hanging fire at the COAS's office when the same was cleared by the CAS. Isn't that an ACT IN ABSOLUTE CONTRAVENTION OF ARMY ORDER AND PRESIDENTIAL SANCTION, my dear sir?
I have been in the army for more than 18 years. These senior officers break more rules then any in the Govt service.
God bless them...

Anonymous said...

in referrance to comment above its quite obvious no general will use the language in which this comment is written ( Anonymous said... @Anony 1710hrs) obviously it is written by a young captain putting his vent out in blog.

Medicals are meant for u and we are one among u.

The hugh work load creation in addition to already existing work load obviously will crash the system unless more human and equipment resources are created.

By the way i am a medical specialist and i meet people right from a jawan to general for there medicals.. so believe me i know best about the morals and ups and downs of army personnnel thoughts and ideas.

someone was mentioning that AMC should be out and get in TA doctors. well my dear friend that cant work out since we need a strong dedicated mind to fight for country and not weak minded people who see field and battle for 1-2 years.

I had experience of getting referrals from medical doctors (RMO) deployed as adoc in assam rifles whose interpretation of clinial diagnosis and management protocols were horrible when compared to regular army RMO

If AMC goes out i can only say GOD Bless Army for there fate..or perheps even army can be sent out of cantt areas in peace station what role have they in peace setups or should we also saying hand over ARMY to Dawood Abrahim they will do better job for u...

Please dont pin point fingers at a services which belong to u...we are there for your best obviously if u keep 5 people in AC room u well feel cool and pleasant but if u stuff 60 people in same room that AC will not make room cool however hard u try.

please understand mechanics of human resources before commenting on any thing

Anonymous said...

I am a medical specialist presently on study leave in one of the largest super speciality center of this country - Christian Medical College, Vellore. Working 14 -16 hours daily ( its pretty usual at CMC) with my civilian collegues I have realised that I was having a rather comfortable time back there in fauj.
Most of the doctors would not grudge taking up extra professional work which means adding more population to the clientele of the AMC. The issue which bugs most of us is the inability or the disinclination of the organisation to appropriately complement the manpower level. If the same set of doctors, nurses, paramedics and technicians see more number of patients that they can handle, it can only result in following:
1. Compromise on quality of attention and care
2. Increased waiting time to be attended to
3. Further dilution of available medicines and equipment

All these will lead to even more dissatisfaction and resentment with the services provided by the AMC. ( it exists truly)

No one should make judgement on as to who is more entitled than the other ( pensioner vs non pensioner)for medical care. A person is sick, he needs medical care. Period. The only issue is where and how. If it has to be the MH, the government decides and it needs to be implemented.(MoD or the COAS is immaterial, both are part of the same government)The point of discussion is if you increase the clientele then increase the manpower and resources accordingly.

Anonymous said...

huh!...at last some contrarian views on an issue. was getting too boring with most of us taking the same line or view on all issues...! serving genral offrs do blog, is it?in that case, now its time to do a bit of soul searching and post on issues, which would reach the right folks at the right place. after all, i cannot make a noting sheet to tell my boss, what i hate about him...can i ?

Anonymous said...

Well said Sanjeevan!
After completing 28 years of service in AMC and as a super (!)specialist, I am convinced that a majority of us are under employed.We need to see more patients to keep up our skills. We need to bring back the ESM clientele- pensioner or not - because that is where our role lies - treating as many as we can.
We need to restore the dignity to our profession by providing quality service through optimal resource utilization and rational modernisation. Towards this end we need to respect professionalism among all, specially doctors.
On many an occasion I have felt that in MHs located in peace stns, doctors should not wear ranks, be known only as Dr So and So...let him draw the pay as per his rank, but wear ranks only in field formations.
I am certain no one will grudge our NPA if we are really good at our job.
Sadly most of us are not.
Incidentally we donot get any compensation for working as superspecialists in the army- and this class of doctors are only motivated by their desire to excel in their chosen field of work.

Anonymous said...

This is specefic response to Mr Rajveer.
Unfortunately all discussions on AMC come down to cribs over NPA. As a captain when on my first posting to a fd ambulance in Pattan, Baramulla, I asked my CO ( a Lt Col) what this column called NPA is in my pay slip. He told me its what all doctors have been getting since independence (1947) because if the army doent give this not many people will join the AMC. This explanation did not satisfy me because my concsiousness pricked me when as going out with the Infantry units on night ambushes, cordon and searches etc I felt that these infantry guys have a much tougher deal than me ( I am in this kind of a schedule for only 3 years, but they are there for life) and still get paid less than me.
It is only later that I found all about NPA and let Navdeep's blog be a place for all the misinformed and resentful officers to be aware of it.
All persons who do MBBS under our current system of medicine are entitled to "practice". This means seeing any patient they like and charging money for that. This is a legal right and enshrined as well in the Hippocrates oath which all MBBS doctors have to take. In a way this entails that after finishing off the prescribed fauji duty all AMC officers could have started a civil practice and that too legally. This can cause immense confusion and heartburn for others. This needed a sort of compensation from the government to stop doctors in government service ( railways, CGHS, and armed forces)from exercising their legal right. So they came up with a token amount called NPA. By the way a doctor in civil can earn the entire month's salary of a AMC super specialist in just one day for doing EXACTLY the same job what ths AMC guy did. So this few peanuts from the government called NPA are meant to be taken in a correct spirit.
Before someone raises this issue that other degree holders like engineers and lawyers can also claim for NPA, then let me add, that ANY B tech or BE or LLB degree does not come enshrined and a binding clause to charge money to do your professional work at one's own choice.
A pretty comprehensive though incomplete history and the logic of NPA, and its specefic application to MBBS degree holders alone is given in the 6 CPC original report, the link to which can be found on this blog itself.

Anonymous said...

let me clarify further about this NPA

A doctor gets 25% of basic + Rank pay as NPA and this has nothing to do with army giving it to us rather army didnt give this to us at all. It was given to us by our constitution. This NPA is meant for preventing govt doctors as per constitution from practice in private LEGALLY.

Let me give u one example
one surgeon in a mid zonal hospital with a enthusiastic anaesthetic performs about 10 operations per week in 2 OT days and approx 3-4 emergency operations a week. This comes to 30-40 operations major and minor per month.( this figure is least-- figures can be more depending on loc of hospital) In civil for one operation a doctor charges 5000 minimum as his fees. So if a doctor performs just one operation per day in 2 hrs in evenings for a month he can get 1 lac as a sitting DUCK. and much much more if he does 2-3 minor operations in evenings in pvt.

So to prevent this NPA is given so doctor does only govt job as required by him. And this is as per constitution and here army has nothing to offer.

now look at what Army has given specialist a paltry 1600 Rs for graded specialist and 2000 for classified specialist. and no compensation for super specialist at all..

We toll hard in mornings work in evenings and on our toes in night ( i get calls to see DIL cases so many times at 2 AM and sometimes i had to sit through till i stabilize patient ) and yet again join back work without a frown at 8 AM next day. We have become mature due to our experience at much younger age due to tremendrous amount of interactions we have with different personnels and we dont raise our voice when a young captain cribs about NPA since he doent know anything what he is talking about.

As i told u we have that dedication to work since we are part of regular army and not on adhoc basis ( which itself can create caos i explained it earlier) and u will hardly find any medico complaining about ARMS part of army -- what job a infantarian has in peace stn other then conducting senior officers on tours and doing normal man management in office hours..

The best example of good work done by medicos can be seen in Kargil war they kept the moral high with speedy medical aid

and i think the readers of this blog who are commenting should know that every officer and JCO and Jawan has to be certified fit before he can prceed to war. If a non army doctor is accompanying the unit he will be flooded with people who will pose some malingering problem to avoid going to war. We have to identify these cases this i feel is the biggest responsibility beside we have our own cas evac plans and exersizes which is not taught in any regular Medical college.

Anonymous said...

since eveyone is talking about NPA can we discuss why NPA is not being paid on MSP??

Anonymous said...

Your wish granted you shall get NPA on MSP from next month

Anonymous said...

Thanx maj navdeep for bringing to light such an issue which has been raked up By the DGAFMS.C'mon wake up all of u guys.. why should the DGAFMS be given the right to float such policy letters and that too without the knowledge of COAS. Secondly can anyone in AMC explain that does the bullet being fired at own troops distinguish amongst SS and regular offrs? It doesn't!!! then who the ... are u to do so. Secondly it exposes our fauj's bias towards regular offrs. The records of last three yrs can be taken into account which clearly indicates that more than 80% offrs who laid down teir lives while fighting Terrorists in J& k and NE were SS offrs then Who The .. is DGAFMS to issue such biased orders. AS far as treating patients is concerned its their job and they re being paid for it... and moreover they get NPA for getting less amount of practice while in army.... Now that they've got enough no of patients to treat the govt should might as well should do away with their NPA.And people who dont agree are welcome to quit. Let me tel u gentlemen there's no dearth of people wanting to join as doctors in army.. so please leave us for the better of our Army. Remember AMC guys u re here to serve the army and not the other way round.And it goes for all other arms and services as well!!!

Anonymous said...

annon@6.26 pm
and yours is wishful thinking/heresay or plain sarcasm?!!!

Anonymous said...

This one is for LIVE LIFE.

It's time to look within. Everyone is doing their job, or at least supposedly doing so. As far as treating patients is concerned, AMC is doing a reasonably good job. If you can't appreciate it, don't resent it.
As about having enough number of patients, you have just exposed your ignorance about the size of the problem here. With all the SS officers & their families becoming entitled, the entitled population is going to not only increase, it's going to multiply. The number of medical personnel still remains the same.
Everyone desires specialist treatment/ treatment by a doctor only, even if all that is required is a first aid dressing. All efforts are made to meet the expectations. The number of doctors is extremely limited & specialists even more so. Still we continue to waste our doctors and specialists' skills in peripheral locations instead of strengthening the evacuation means.
I & so many other colleagues have spent months sitting in locations where the average sick report for a couple of months is equivalent to 30 minutes of work in an average MH.

Another issue which you mentioned was QUITTING. You probably didn't even notice that AMC officers probably have the highest rejection rate of resignation papers. The people who are waiting in the wings to join the fauj who were not really very successful in civil stream (Reasons- ?Lack of required skills?). You want those folks? By all means have them! Let the current AMC folks go & you'll know what you are missing out on. Any specialist who has managed to quit prematurely has done extremely well in the civil scene. So don't increase the pre-existing resentment by offering such comments.

Anonymous said...

live LIFE is either too busy to read the ongoing discussion on this issue or he is merely casual in his approach to such an important topic.
Many doctors including some super specialists have made this point amply clear that AMC does not care whether SS officers come for treatment or regular officers or families or even parents ( as in ECHS). The whole point is are we ready to cope up with this type of load with entitlement and scales made in 1970 based on requirement of that time. Do we want to make MHs also like municipal hospitals with people lying on floors because there is no space to accomodate everyone who comes there for treatment? A nurse can ideally see 10 - 15 patients during a night shift duty. Already in some busy MHs there is one nurse at night to look after a medical or surgical ward with 40 -45 patients.
Why isnt the focus of the bloggers going towards raising their collective voices to increase manpower ( all levels - doctors, nurses, nursing assistants, laboratory staff, even safai walas) and resources ( medicines, life saving equipments, hi tech gadgets) so that every army person serving or retired, SS or regular, pensioner or not, be treated in MHs as a RIGHT and not as an adjustment or favour.

Anonymous said...

as stated by some body on 25Feb 1.58 pm, please give details of MoD letter granting OPD facilities to non pensioner ex-servicemen in AFCs/MHs.

Anonymous said...

well all the cock and bull story again... please if someone is listening sort out the problems of AMC at the earliest so that the doctor on call is readily available on ground and not on this blog only ...for all of us here and let them honour at least the COAS by not floating letters on their own... if not the fauj as a whole. At least the org will benefit...

Anonymous said...

i think the bloggers here doent even know the basics about AMC..

the specialist are most sort after in any hospital and after resonable sevice everyone likes to leave its so lucrative outside. but army laches on to us and doesnt allow anaesthetist, medical spl and surgeon to leave. for a superspecialist a premature release is a dream come true.

and well if u guys dont appreciate the work we do u really dont deserve us.

and mind u its the army (coas) who is not increasing the strength of paramedics and doctors.. so how do u expect better services by just increasing dependancy day by day on MH. ya someone rightly said one day we too will become like muncipal corporation hospital with overflow of patients on to floors then it will be too late a wake up call.

what ever COAS and DGAMS does is out of experience and not by ignorance. the know best what is good and bad for army.. leave the thinking for them.

A young captian in battle field ..does he ask 10 questions to CO. before carrying out a order... well the answer is no. since his boss knows what is best for the unit. we look from a narrow angle the CO looks from a wider prospective but for COAS and DGAFMS they have to consider much beyound army and its implications for future too so leave the policy decisions for them ....dont show your narrow minded biting attitute or rather cribbing attitude to any services

after reading this blog i know exactly what u guys think of AMC haha u made me a highy dedicated guy towards army into a guy who resents army now ..what the ... am i toiling hard day in and night for these fools who just like cribbing..

got some real introspection to do now.

Anonymous said...

Hey man! Medical specialist. I hope you are not serious about what you said about bieng disenchanted by blogger's comments. All of us work to satisfy our professional self, not for some opinion poll. As my boss out here in CMC keeps on saying- we are not in hotel service to satisfy customer's demands; we are in a hospital service to satisfy our professional quest so that the patient gets the most scientific and appropriate treatment.
The comments by various people are their own views and they have a right to have one. It only displays their depth of ignorance. You know, when the 26/11 encounter in Mumbai was on, and we all know our guys out there did a thorough professional job, my civilian collegues out here kept on bugging me ( as if I am a rep of the Indian army ) as to why 400 commandos took 4 days to capture/ neutralise 4 terrorists? How did 10 terrorist in a fishing trawl sneak past a navy with aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines? It was their ignorance on military matters which allows them to raise such doubts. Similar is the scene out here.

Anonymous said...

I feel sorry to read that you call such an important matter as "cock and bull story". Firstly I am on call 24h a day already on ground, for the army and at night I sit on blog when there is no call pending.
Secondly let me give you a real life experience. I went on a TD to Bagdogra MH where a lot of Gorkha ESM come from across Nepal. In addition guys and families from air force station come over. The medical OPD for PBOR is only on two days a week as fixed by the stn HQ in consultation with MH. On my first OPD I saw a crowd of 100 -120 patients. I said no hassles, I am on TD, staying in the mess next door, plus I am normally on fast on a tuesday so no problem of going for a lunch break. I started at 10 am (from 8 am to 10 am you are supposed to finish off your ICU and ward rounds), and even if you give just 4 to 5 min to a patient, please calculate how much time it will take to dispose off 120 patients. Any way at 6pm I got up from my chair and after taking my evening ward round went back to the mess pretty satisfied at 7.30pm. Guess what happened the next day? The CO of MH Bagdogra fired me that why I made a Gorkha ESM wait upto 6 pm? He missed his last bus and had to sleep overnight somewhere. When I told him there were 120 patients, and someone had to be first and someone the last, he told me that the previous doctor (who had left the army after his SS tenure, and in whose place I had come on TD) used to finish off all his OPD 120 or 150 by 1.30 pm and be back in mess. The next day the nursing asst told me the secret- he too initially used to see each patient individually. Then he realised that the Gorkha ESM will keep on coming in bunches all the time, so he would call 4 -5 together at a time give them a common prescription, ask them to divide the medicines among themselves. Dont you think this eyewash is the result of our system bieng overstreched? After all who are we fooling around with?

Anonymous said...

Great…! AMC is part of the MoD but not of the Army(Whose part is the Army anyway. MoD sees it as principal enemy to be smashed in to smithereens).

Then why do the AMC wear Army uniforms and ranks? Why blame COAS for DAPC/ No DAPC(In place of MSP & NPA?) issue if you are not part of his organization?

The MHs are too crowded to look after the ESM / their entitled families but very cozy for treating cronies from MoD though not entitled.

One suggestion. Reinforce ECHS and widen its scope. Detach it from military hospitals and its bureaucracy. Let it be available through accredited reputed hospitals which are plenty in this country. Spare ESM the agony of being insulted by the organization they served (May excuse the ESM for the ignorance of assuming that MHs are part the organization they once served and cherish that memory with pride).

Anonymous said...

I think all of us got diverted from main issue.When govt. was keeping mum on PB 4 all of us had "common enemy".Now that issue is sorted out.Now we developed "Fingeritis" to some sections of our own people.
One question I would like to ask to those who are arguiing against AMC_ Do you or your relatives would like to get admitted in a ward which is overburdened with patients or to a hospital with optimum bed occupancy?

Anonymous said...

Dear Fellow men in uniform,,,,,,,,Plz for heaven sake stop taking things to ur heart and fighting amongst ourselves.What maj Navdeep brought out was a matter of all of us to discuss on and arrive at a positive solution.Here we have doctors and non doctors of the same fraternity going hammer and tongs at each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am not a Doc and there have been times when I have cursed the Naval Hospitals for the long queue.But after an interaction with one Medical Officer,I started viewing things from a slightly different perspective.The Docs are stretched thin and this is a fact.But at the same time,denying patients their treatment is not correct at all.

Let's have a healthy discussion here rather than the Doctors feeling they are being targetted unfairly.At the same time the comments of some Medical Officers make one feel that they are the most victimised sections of the society.Plz try and put forth ur point across with some civility and let's see what the solution is!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

It has been very educative to follow the comments on this particular post.
Firstly, I must thank all the comment authors for their frank views about this eye-opener on the majority view about AMC. Reading these can bring one down to mother earth fairly quickly.
I am a medical officer pursuing super-speciality training at a considerable expense of personal savings with the desire of excelling at what we do just like so many of my senior stalwarts. It can be highly demotivating if this is what the clientele thinks about already stretched out AMC. Would it have been wiser to just earn the higher grade pay & let my skills rust at the levels commensurate with the opinion of the clientele? I think the answer remains a firm "No" to that. But will I remain as motivated as before after reading all this. Unfortunately, the answer remains "No" to this too.
As far as I remember, all the orders about entitlements are decided by the AG's branch mostly. DGAFMS can only interpret them.

I think it would be good step to decide what is the optimum Doctor: dependent population ratio for the Armed Forces. Let that be decided by the AG's office or whosoever COAS deems fit to do so. The approximate dependent population is probably more than a couple of crores including ESM and families. AMC has around 4000 medical oficers including all specialists as well as RMOs. Determine what is the additional requirement of medical officers, commission as many doctors (preferably specialists, as they are in high demand and it takes 3 years to train one). If AMC still can't do the job it is expected to do, it is only then anyone has right to complain. It doesn't make any sense that every few years, a few lakhs are added to the clientele with no additional man power.

It can't go on forever like that!!!

Anonymous said...

Carrying the argument of optimum ratios further, let us have a doctor: dependent population ratio of 1:1000 (Something like equivalent of a battalion). Developed countries have a ratio of close to 1:240-250 and still claim shortage of doctors.

This ratio should include the specialists also. With a dependent population of at least 2 crores (Including serving, ESM, families as well as released SS & EC officers), we would need at least 20000 medical officers to look after 2 crore people. Present strength of around 4000 is inadequate even for the serving soldiers and their families!!!
With specialists doing daily/alternate call duties in busy hospitals, the fatigue sets in too. After all you can't keep fighting forever!!!
The solution to all the complaints is increasing the sanctioned number of medical officers. It is so glaringly obvious, but who will bell the cat?

Anonymous said...

Dear AMC guys,
I did not know there were so many pessimists amongst us. I only hope SSB is doing its job sincerely.

AMC is doing a wonderfull job. They are as good as the best if not better (barring small percentage). Hence they deserve much more than they have been given.

Majority of us do not mind the extra perks given to them. So do not bother for some bloggers who seem to be plain saddists.

I am not a medico.

Anonymous said...

What was started by Maj Navdeep as a debate on entitlement for medical treatment in MH between two subsets of our veterans,(pensioners vs non pensioners) has been converted into a no holds barred slugfest between another two subsets of our serving officers. (AMC vs non AMC)

Anonymous said...

well well.... understood sir!! u all guys are very hard pressed for manpower, same goes for the rest of the fauj...isn't it.So crux of the discussion going on since quite a few days should end here with a resolute to aid all the support to the AMC for having their auth strength increaseda nd so should the infrastructure in all the MHs. With the ever increasing load on the MHs it is imperative that both manpower and strength of AMC be increased manifold as per their requirement. We all are here to support u in ur fight for the same but please for god's sake don't target the ESMs and SS lot only... be impartial and keep the standards of ur duty as high as it has been in the past. God Speed!!!

bash said...

Am an EX AMC SS Officer, when I applied for Medical Entitlement Card it was refused by MPRS(O)/DGMS(ARMY)saying that non pensioners are not entitled for any treatment at MH. What should I do now?

Anonymous said...


IMHO,AMC is not targeting any specific category- Ex-servicemen or serving.
I think what AMC is fighting about is to stop addition of dependent population without addition of manpower and infrastructure. It has been happening for the last couple of decades without bothering about additional manpower/infrastructure required. It needed a few brave souls in DGAFMS office to finally put their foot down. Unfortunately, the latest category being added was this class of ex-servicemen at that time.
We can only hope it works out well to satisfaction of all. I still don't understand why released/retired SS & EC officers are not allowed to be members of ECHS, while making them entitled to treatment in MHs? What's the catch there?

ALL PARTICIPANTS HERE CAN HELP IN A BIG WAY. It is very common for people to have 15-20 dependent cards in case of serving people. There is simply no check in the units for the number of dependent cards being issued out. Once a person joins the fauj, he has a dependent card for his/her own family, in-laws, cousins, nephews, nieces, neighbours etc etc. All of them become entitled to the care in MH by virtue of that card.
If we have a smart card like the CSD is implementing (Use the same one for hospitals also), you will be surprised by the decrease in crowds at the military hospitals (Just like what happened at CSDs). So let's start setting our own house in order!!! Just ensure adequate control on issuing dependent cards in your units. Don't be so blindly welfare oriented.

Anonymous said...

Dear Navdeep,

I wonder if you are aware of the problem of fake dependent cards being issued at unit level. There is absolutely no control over number of dependent cards issued to serving soldiers. There have been cases where one person has been found to have 15-20 dependent cards.
These cards have been used for CSD facilities & MH facilities commonly. The misuse in CSD has stopped by introduction of Smart cards. Why can't we have same smart cards used in hospitals too for identification? This will bring down the number of people in wards & OPDs of military hospitals by as much percentage as fall in CSD sales after introduction of smart cards.
The Powers-that-be do seem to listen to issues raised in this forum. Why don't you raise this issue of fake dependent cards too in this e-forum? If somebody does indeed take some action, it would be good for all the patients as they will get more time from the doctors, nurses & other AMC staff.

Anonymous said...

dear anonymous it will be appreciated atleast u can tell your designation if not your name rather then just being anonymous.

u are absolutely right recently a CO came to me for treatment of his mother in law who was given a maid servent pass ( a maid servent is entitled opd consultation only if pass is made from adm comdt and pass is valid only till posting of officer in stn and only for lifethreathening illnesses for immediate problems)

pleople do missuse things at senior levels and when we try to be strict they complain.. well we have to be stern at such stray incidences which we come across and i dont see rank at that time...wrong means wrong.. i brought it to notice of adm comdt but actually nothing happened..
i guess wrong deeds of AMC people gets glorified and projected and echoed repeatedly and NON AMC guys wrong deeds are supressed at various levels...cant change the system can we?

Anonymous said...

ya this idea is good

People are getting dependent cards for canteen

we should check same for medical entitlement also

so easy

Unknown said...

Dear Navdeep,
Please see to it that Army --in particular DGAFMS does not deny medical faciilities entitled to released SSC and Ec and officers of 19 years service.
Youngsters..I warn that they should not join Army..it is treating released officers in a most shabby manner.Why would anyone serve army in these terms and get injured or die when a civilian-- wife,parents or children
get the ECHS benefit.
Generals seem to have no idea of anamoly in this stupid systems...can any one particularly Maj Navdeep inform thro your access that SSC EC or other19 years served officers have done much more sacrifice while in service than the ECHS officer's wife,children,parents.
For God sake let COAS at Army HQ immediately act on it lest I am going public about the serious lapses and advantage being a wife, child, parent of retired officer than serving in Army as SSC officer. For Gods sake treat them gracefully as they served the nation for full contract term and they are to be given perks like pensioner...even if that comes to delinking dependents.

Navdeep please take this up soon....I will second you for filing this case in High court Best LUck......arjun

Anonymous said...

Hi Navdeep
pLEASE EDUCATE these jokers in DGAFMS Dfence that SSC, EC Non pensioner officers are far far better and done lot of sacrifices while in service than wives, children, parents of pensioner service officer who are now getting ECHS facilities. They are parasites and bleed defence profusely as ever.
Can not these duds differentiate and accept immediately ECHS benefit for released officers with good conduct. I am sure they deserve the most than these dependents of ECHS officers.

Anonymous said...

theres a Q as to why docs get NPA - the simple answer is - he studied when you enjoyed. Besides it may be better to allow them to practice - especially in remote areas as they will benefit the locals and they will get richer - any doc worth his salt will earn more if allowed to practice in non working hours than the measly 25% NPA