Feel free to contribute on burning issues concerning the armed forces. Contributions would be acknowledged - Use the 'Comments' tab or email navdeepsingh.india[at]gmail.com. No operational/business/commercial matters to be discussed please. Legal advice/litigation related issues would strictly NOT be published or discussed or entertained. Information on this blog is opinion based and is neither official nor in the form of an advice. This is a pro bono online journal in public service related to issues, policies and benefits, and the idea behind it is to educate and not to create controversy or to incite. Be soft in your language, respect Copyrights.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Medical Cover to ESM : 'The Tribune' covers it too

'The Tribune' has also covered the issue today.

Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
A large number of short-service commissioned (SSC) officers, who were deprived of medical cover at the military hospitals, would now be entitled to avail the facilities once again.

Earlier, SSC and Emergency Commissioned (EC) officers were entitled to treatment at military hospitals. However, directives issued a few months ago by the Directorate General Armed Forces Medical Services (DGAFMS) apparently in contradiction of presidential sanction and Army orders, had debarred them from seeking treatment at the military hospitals.

Sources said a communiqué issued by Army headquarters last week clarifies that medical facilities to SSC and EC officers had not been withdrawn. “A circular issued by Headquarters Western Command states that SSC and EC officers are not to be denied medical treatment in the military hospitals till further orders,” Brig IS Gakhal, director, Sainik Welfare Punjab, who hade taken up the issue with the Defence Ministry, said.

The orders affect thousands of short service officers and their families. Denial of medical facilities had also rendered ineffectual a central scheme for SSC officers under which 80 per cent of the cost of major surgery was borne by the Kendriya Sainik Board, since it required verification by military hospitals. The scheme was introduced because SSC officers are not covered under the Ex-servicemen’s Contributory Health Scheme on the account of being non-pensioners.

Last year, DGAFMS wrote to all Army commands that they were not entitled to medical facilities as these were available only to service pensioners. Since the early 70s, the Army has been inducting about 500 SSC officers annually. In the wake of the 1962 Indo-Pak war, thousands of ECO were also commissioned.

Earlier, medical facilities were only available to ex-service pensioners and their dependants and families of deceased personnel drawing pension of some kind.

Then in 1996, the MoD directed that the term “ex-service pensioners” be replaced by the term “ex-servicemen”. Consequently, entitled categories became ex-servicemen covered under the definition of “ex-serviceman” issued by the Department of Personnel and Training, their dependants and families of deceased personnel drawing pension.

Officers said DGAFMS seemed to have failed to correctly interpret that the sanction for medical facilities was issued by the President through the Defence Ministry and not by the Department of Personnel and Training.


Anonymous said...

Sir, is there a possibilty that delay in implementing Presidential sanction for DACP for all Central Govt Doctors be in organised sector or in an isolated capacity, is not getting implemented for AMC doctors, may also be a case of misinterpretion in the same way?Because DACP has been implemented for all central Govt Doctors, Indian Railways doctors, even Civilian doctors in DGAFMS cadre, but not for SERVICES DOCTORS!

Anonymous said...

Two issues,implementation of DACP and grade pay enhancement has been left in the cold,or so it seems.Maj Navdeep,any idea about these issues?grade pay that directly or indirectly affects our status has not been the talking point for so long.Is there a committee on these issues?????

Unknown said...

Why cant ECHS be extended to SSC officers also, via a one time payment or some similar measure?Going to a MH serves no purpose...they are not equiped all the time...seems to be a helf hearted effort??

force1 said...

Dear Maj Navdeep, i tseems very interesting that somebody who serves for 5 years can avail medical facilities at MHs but not someone who has served for 19 years-if he has been a PC.Shouldnt it be, that anyone who has served in the Army for 5 years or more be entitled to all facilities!What are the disadvantages of being A SSC in todays world?None I think! You have option of continuing in the services if you cant find greener pastures.

Anonymous said...

Let's make it simpler.Those who serve for 20 years or more get full pension & medical and CSD facilities for life.Those who choose to leave before 20 years should get CSD & medical facilities for exactly the number of years they have served.

Beniwal said...

As per the presidential order all service personnel granted status of ESM(including SSC/EC officers/TA etc ) are entitled for medical treatment at MHs and not only SSC/EC officers. I hope army order includes all entitled ESM other wise problems for other than SSC/ECs. Not writting all the categories together creates confusion for MH and ESM. For MHs to act DGAFMS must come out with a consolidated list of personnel granted status of ESM and entitled for medical treatment as per medical regulations and not by including some category in one letter and some others in another letter. Complete list of personnel granted status ESM is given in KSB guide book for all to refer. No body keep track of old orders at MH, they just talk about the latest order with them.It creates choas in every bodies mind. I have written for this consolidated list and lets see what DGAFMS does.

Anonymous said...

Capt. jai shingh Bishnoi

The Contribution of EC and ssc officers during 1962, 1965, 1971, IPKF role in Sri Lanka and fighting the terrists outfits has been outstanding.Their role has been commedable. we are thanking to MOD for Providing Military Hospital Treatment facility wef.1996. However Negative people played their role in between as usual and ultimately to be rebuked by Good people for Genuine cause. Congress H.Q. at Akbar Road had been telling people since long that this catagory has been included in ECHS scheme.I Still feel MOD must have done so in new order.There is a sea change since 1996. if not done yet we earnestly request Govt.of India to do it at the earlist.

Capt. J.s. Bishnoi
MOB. 9871306199
retd. Secy. Zila Sainik Board
Faridabad (Haryana)
Email: capt.jai70@yahoo.com

Unknown said...

Dear Maj Navdeep,
Medical cover for SSC Officers is great news. Till now we SSC offrs were told that we are not entitled to this.

I have retired from service after 15 yrs in May 2009, I was a Lady officer in IAF. Can u please advise me how I & my dependents can avail this medical facility. As of now I donot have any card to identify my self as ex-servicemen.

kuldeep said...

Dear Maj Navdeep,

If medical facilities in MH can be extended to SSCOs/ECOs, surely a way can be found to make them eligible for ECHS by amending the criteria from "exserviceman pensioner" to "exserviceman". They can be charged higher amount than other officers. This will create goodwill for the army and will not cost the exchequer much money since there will practically be very few SSCOs/ECOs availing this facility.

Capt Kuldeep Khera

Unknown said...

Hi Major

Thanks for the update on SSC officers . Iam an SSC officer of the Navy commesioned in 1990 and completed 7 years and have an ExservicEMEN id as well .

i recently went to Command hospital and was rudley told that i had no benefits , it really hurt me after service to the country . Iam not doing good financially and me and my family need this could you help by sending the copy of the letter that i can quote or impres upon them


Lt Vital Rajan

Capt Rajesh said...

Dear Maj Navdeep,

I am an SSC Officer and residing at Chandigarh. Once I went to Command Hospital for treatment of my daughter. Out there, I was not treated too well and was refused the treatment by a Lady Officer of AMC.

It was here that I came to know that a Card is issued at Army HQ, Delhi that authorises SSC Offrs to avail medical facilities at MH.

From the side of all SSC Offrs, I would be grateful if you would be kind enough to provide the right direction to get these id cards authorising medical facilities.

Capt Rajesh

Beniwal said...

dear navdeep, if you have got the AHQs order copy, then please upload for us to down load and show to MHs and try to get entitled medical treatment. i am not sure if MHs/doctors will act on the clarification until the amended/corrected order is issued by DGAFMS, since he is the boss of medical branch and doest come directly under Army and does not seem taking orders from AHQs.

Anonymous said...


I have gone through all the mail posted by you. I have been fighting out for the last one and half years. In Delhi almost all the army hospital are refusing treatment to released SSC officers. I have filed several applications under Right to Information. Here is my assessment of the whole situation

There are two aspects of the whole problem. One the policy maker and the other implanter. Medical benefit has been given to released SSC officers as per the Govt. of India approval, which subsequently took the shape of Army Order Nos. 10/97 & 8/98. DGAFMS is the implementer of the policy. He is simply to follow orders. What is happening in this case is that DGAFMS for unknown reasons has made it a prestige issue. He is bent upon denying this benefit. He is supported in this by other one or two senior officers of the AMC (sorry, I can not name them). It is not in the power of the DGAFMS to issue a circular denying this benefit to SSC officers, when there is existing Govt. approval and relevant Army Orders, which have not been cancelled.

The situation is that between the DGAFMS and The Adjutant General, no one is prepared to confront the other over this matter. While the treatment is being denied by the army Hospital, AG (MP 5 & 6) is still issuing entitlement Cards on the ground that the relevant Army Orders are still valid and have not been cancelled

They are getting away with this as number of SSC officers is too small and we are not arganised and have not made any concrete effort

The coverage of SSC officers under the ECHS has been approved by the Raksha Mantri in principle and the rules are being framed. DGAFMS is again trying to get this withdrawn on the ground of paucity of funds. It is a pity that when it comes to their own benefits these officers fight tooth and nail and for others they adopt a negative attitude.

If you have any important documents on the subject please exchange or post on this website

Contact Me if you like Mob: 9868913344

Capt. Sethi said...

For those of you who want to have entitlement cards issued, please apply to the following address with a photocopy of your service record book

Adjutant General's Branch,
MP 5 & 6
West Block-III RK Puram,
New Delhi

Anonymous said...

The medical facility to SSC & EC officers has not been withdrawn. The Army Order which entitled them to the facility has not been cancelled and still holds good.

It is not within the power of the DGAFMS to withdraw this benefit. Defence Ministry has taken this decision with the approval of Govt. of India, in the larger interest of the Indian Army’s recruitment policy, as they want to recruit more and more SSC officers in the army.

It is surprising how the Adjutant General is a mute spectator to this problem. It is high time that he corrected the situation. Otherwise, who will give 10 to 15 years of the prime of his youth to Indian Army and then be left high and dry without any benefits.

Probably you may not be aware that Raksha Mantri has already given his approval, in principle, to cover these officers under ECHS and the rules are being framed for covering SSC and EC officers but who knows how much time it would take for them to come out with the final scheme? It is again reliably learnt that DGAFMS is trying to scuttle the plan. All these high ranking officers will fight tooth and nail for their own benefits and when it comes to others they see no logic.

Another aspect of the problem is that SSC officers have not raised any hue and cry. Remember retired army officers put up a protest for one rank one pay on Republic Day and the Govt. is now coming out with a suitable proposal to pacify them

I think it would help if a large number of officers addressed letters directly to the Defence Minister and The Adjutant General on this matter

Anonymous said...


In the army the orders of the seniors are never questioned and that is how the army works. Now a general (DGAFMS) is issuing orders in contradiction of President’s order and the Army Orders. I wonder what must be happening down the line. What kind of example is he setting for his juniors to follow?

This is not a very happy trend

Anonymous said...

I think it is time that all the SSC officers got together and staged a peaceful protest at Janter Manter Delhi. This problem needs to be highlighted to get solved

Anonymous said...

At present Indian Army recruits SSC officers for a period of ten years, which is extendable by four years. After that one is put on the resave list for five years. Then you are made to walk out with zero benefits. By then the productive years of your life are over. They say they are giving you the CSD benefit, which is also given to BSF officers and is hardly a benefit

if you are treated so shabbily? Who in his right senses will join Indian Army as SSC officer, all these generals (DGAFMS and The AG) should sort out their differences on policy matters amongst themselves. It is a poor image they are creating in the public eye

Anonymous said...

More than half the Indian Army consists of SSC officers. You have them in all arms and the services of the army, including AMC, Dental, Engineers, Veterinary, education and so on and so forth

How does DGAMS take a decision at his own ignoring the larger interest of India Army? Can’t someone make him wise. It is high time

Anonymous said...

I agree with the blog above. DGAFMS must know the ground realities. SSC officer’s benefits are as important to the Indian Army as that of regular officers. At present the ratio of the SSC officers to Regular officers is quite high

His thinking on the subject a centaury old

Beniwal said...

All ESM(particularly non pensioners)should be happy to know that DGAFMS/DG-3A/Dir AFMS(H) in his reply dtd 16.7.09 to my letter states that the entitlement for medical treatment from AFMS is governed by para 296(O)as amended-which is as under:-"Retired Defence personnel granted status of 'Ex-servicemen' as per notifications issued by the Department of personnel and training from time to time for the purpose of recruitment in central civil services and posts, their families and the families of deceased personnel drawing pension of some kind". Also says Such ESM are being provided medical treatment through AFMS. it further says They do not need any 'separate letter'. it means ESM card issued by ZSB will do. God bless DGAFMS if it is true practically. Please try out. if any one wants to know whether he/she is entitled ESM just give me(trident142@yahoo.co.in) your date of relase/retirement and total service.

Capt Sethi said...

The eligibility criterion of the entitled personnel for medical treatment at army hospital is very vague. No one is clear about it, not even the hospitals. Authorities want it to be that way. In fact every hospital should very prominently display, who all are eligible thus leaving nothing to doubt

Capt Sethi said...

Dear Maj Navdeep,

I think it would be a good idea to maintain a national register to keep a record of all the denials of medical treatment. You could create this on your website or if you have any better suggestion, please let me know

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I am a short service commission officer of Indian Navy. I joined navy on 03 July 2000 under the 7 + 3 scheme, ie my initial engagement was for 7 years. However, in 2002 when SSC 10+4 scheme was introduced I was converted to new scheme with my concurrence. I am due for release from service on 03 Jul 2010 after completion of 10 years of service. I have taken an NOC from navy to apply for civil jobs in Govt and PSU. I want to ask you that if i leave service to join any govt organisation or PSU on regular/contract appointment before completion of my 10 years of service then what would be my status as exservicemen. Will i be an exservicemen and would get all priveledge of an exservicemen? what is my initial term of engagement to be considered for ex-servicemen and other benefits like gratuatiy ets? is it 7 years or 10 years? If i join any govt organisation after leaving service(ie after 10 years but not immediately after my retirement), will my military service be counte in the new organisation like pay protection,pension etc? Could you please forward the DGAFMS letter an existing Govt orders on medical facilities to retired SSC officers and their families?

I would be very gratefull if you can enlighten me on the abovementioned issues as I may have to take the decision of quiting service just 4-5 months before my due date of release for the purpose of joining DGCA but on contract basis.

MSethi said...

Maj Navdeep,

Thanks for all your efforts. We are eagerly awaiting for the copy of the tribunal orders. would you be kind enough to put it on this website at the earliest. This would enable thousands of officers to resume treatment, some of them be needing it urgently and there may be some emergency cases, mine is one

Unknown said...

I am a 1989 commissioned SSCO from the Indian Air Force. I have put in 6 years of my prime life to the service of the nation.Even though I have managed to find a good career for myself, many SSCOS are fighting lonely battles not able to find reasonably good jobs. It is time now for the GOI to ensure that SSCOS lead quality lives after their release from service irrespective of whether they are able to find careers on their own to support their families,especially with health care and prorata pension.I hope more SSCOS will voice their opinion for a good solution from the GOI and my special regards to you for your time and effort and hope your effort will certainly reign in fruits in the future

Maj Rakesh sharma said...

From Maj Rakesh sharma

Thanks for all infos
e mail id rakeshvishu23@yahoo.co.in

Maj. Navdeep said...

Dear Sir,

Is there any news on the ECHS facilities for the SSC officers. Has anything come so far. Please let us know the latest on the same.


Maj. Navdeep

Dr Shreya Mehul Shah said...

Dear sir,
We are a health care service provider working in field of eye health care, we would like to offer our services to retired armed force personnel working in our areas. We are a tertiary care hospital www.drashtinetralaya.org
Thanking you

Dr Shreya Mehul Shah said...

thank you

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir,

This was an insightful post and discussion. I was wondering, since its been almost 1 and a half years since the time of this post, have there been any further developments on this issue of medical benefits for SSC officers? If so, pls could you update us?

I will be leaving the Army after completing 5 years in March 2012, and it is still not clear in any of the offices I contacted whether or not I will be entitled to medical facilities thereafter and what cards (entitlement, identity, etc.)do I have to get made for the post-Army life. I will be grateful for any light you could throw on these issues for me.

Thank you.

VARUN said...

Dear Maj Navdeep,

I visited MP5 & 6 to get the medical entitlement card made, but the staff told me that there is some case going on this issue at present and they cannot issue the card at present. Could you please throw some light on this issue and is there some case going on at present and a short service commission officer getting released from army after serving for 5 years is entitled for this card or not ?

Capt Varun Sharma

drvipan said...

dear Maj Navdeep,
Kindly update on the latest status. We are really thankful to ur sincerest efforts and May God bless you for the all the pain u have taken.
I have served for 05 years. I have copy of letter issued in 2010 by DG office, giving reference of AFT chandigarh statement that Ex SSC are entitled and they are planning to challenge the order. again for last few days, there are rumors that something has come up again but no clue.
any body interested in copy of that letter, can mail me at
Thanks to everybody and specially to Maj Navdeep for all the hard work

Dr. Rajesh Mittal said...

I have been following the post for a long time. I think Maj. Navdeep always does a lot of good things in educating the Ex-servicemen.
Regarding the Medical Treatment facilities / ECHS scheme for SSC officers of 5 / 10 / 14 years(all are SSC's, so no discrimination please), there is still a lot of confusion. It seems that the DGAFMS is really not interested. I had such a tough time in getting a piece of paper with my photo on it, supposed to be a Medical entitlement card made. It seems to be of no use as probably proper cards are understood by the treating fraternity and such papers make them confused. The SSC officers should unite and then take up this issue.The same thing has been stated many times by our Veteran officer Mr. Beniwal.

Anonymous said...

It seems that there needs to be a party by the name of AAM FAUJI KI PARTY with capable leaders and not managers who managed higher ranks for only self and the juniors were left to fetch for their rights without there fighting rights. we need to thank these managers for their inability but the solution lies in voting for the brothers in arms or who were truely loyal to the services. In all the cases the solution is political and not the babus of politition who play to the tunes of corrupt practices, a national shame, i confess.

Anonymous said...

i am a defence aspirant and have filled up forms for army and navy ssc entries.even if i go for 14 years(or probably more,if allowed) but what is the use of serving so long when they are not giving medical benefits after services.this is totally wrong.a very disheartening thing for future defence aspirants.:(

Anonymous said...

the ssc offrs are being exploted by the govt by not giving pension/ not counting their army service for pention in PSU's/ extending ECHS facilities . they have cheated the young lot i shall advise all inspering young lot not to join SSC any more . Even the defence ministers statement of lokshaba 2009 has not been implempeted til date what can you expect then

Victor EX -SSC officer of army

Unknown said...

I have been following the blog, especially this section since last two years. Are there any updates on this. Are SSC officers now eligible for Medical Benefits either at MHs or through ECHS?

Maj Namita

Unknown said...

Dear Friends,
Let us hope that a sensible government with good governance comes to power. I would request somebody in New Delhi to take an initiative and formulate a proposal to the government directly on behalf of all SSC officers towards medical treatment facility post retirement for the individual, spouse (and children till they attain the age of 21 years). This would subsequently require somebody to also follow up by keeping a copy of all concerned documents and acknowledgement of submitted documents. So, friends let us first form a website and thereafter publicise the same in all three services which would in less than six months time be fully operational and also bring in awareness amongst the three services. This is a request come proposal and a beginning of the process. Suggestions and recoendations on this subject are welcome.

Lt Cdr (Retd)
Indian Navy

Anonymous said...

Hi, my brother served indian army for 5 years as ssc.. Retired as a captain . He was posted to baramulla also...currently he is battling for his life... He is on ventilator and doctors does not show any hope and the treatment is too expensive for his family to cope with.could someone please throw some light if he could avail free treatment in military hospital and please email me some list of procedures to follow...Any suggestion or help in this matter would be greatly appreciated.. My email address is rekbhatnagar@hotmail.com

Unknown said...

My father is served in military for 7 years from 1963 to 1970. He is not eligible for pension. Now due to heart arrest he is gone to coma. Is he eligible for any medical benefits since he is not earning and he is 72. I am his daughter is asking is there any medical assistance will be provided in this situation. If anyone knows kindly advice. Thank u. My email id is kavitha_lokesh1@rediffmail.com