Sanjha Morcha

ECHS had put Fortis on notice four months ago Disturbed by contents of the letter, claims hospital

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 12

It was four months ago that Fortis Hospital in Mohali, an empanelled medicare centre under the Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS), was asked to explain alleged unethical practices and mistreatment on its part. The ECHS authorities have asked its polyclinics to stop referring patients to the hospital with immediate effect.A letter written by the ECHS Regional Centre, Chandimandir, on March 9 to all polyclinics under its jurisdiction sates that in view of the numerous complaints received from ECHS beneficiaries, the ECHS Central Organisation has directed to impose a “stop referral” in respect of Fortis Hospital.Old referrals, including old cases of chemotherapy and dialysis, will be honoured till the completion of the treatment or termination of the validity period of the referral, the letter adds.A statement issued by the hospital today claimed that it was disturbed by the contents of the letter and objected to being accused of “unethical and unprofessional practices discharged towards the ECHS patients.”“The show-cause notice was suitably responded and certain concerns were raised that were to be addressed by the ECHS. These have not been addressed till date and we are yet to receive a reply to our letter from the ECHS,” the statement added.Fortis claims a monthly OPD footfall of approximately 3,500 ECHS patients and admission of nearly 800-900 ECHS patients per month.A hospital functionary said no new ECHS admissions were being taken and even emergency cases were being turned away. This is creating inconvenience and confusion among ex-servicemen. However, all referrals and admissions done before March 10 are being fully honoured, according to the functionary. The hospital authorities, till late evening, were working out the future course of action.The ECHS has received complaints about overcharging, medical malpractices and inflated billing by certain hospitals in the past also, following which some hospitals were de-empanelled. Several new policy measures and penal action were initiated by the ECHS authorities to curb this. This including vetting all treatment and bills by an external agency before payment is released.

Statement by hospital

“We suitably responded to the show-cause notice and certain concerns were raised that were to be addressed by the ECHS. These have not been addressed till date and we are yet to receive a reply to our letter from the ECHS,” the statement added.

VETERAN PATIENT CARE & ASSISTANCE (VPCA) TEAM No of ESMs are colluding with Empanelled Hosps to take treatment on ‘impersonation basis’ besides being party to their wrong doings. Raising of wrong & inflated bills are not unusual. These need to be arrested. We have limited funds and the same must be utilized for the betterment of entitled category of persons. VPCA teams have been approved and promulgated vide DG (DC & W) letter No B/49717-C(Vig)/AG/ECHS/2017 dated 08 Sep 2017, wherein such teams will carry out checks under Stn Cdr to arrest corrupt practices as well as addressing the difficulties of our veterans. The will initially operate in Delhi, Jalandhar & Trivandrum and based on success of this Pilot Project (Six months time), these will be launched Pan India. COMPLAINT AND LITIGATION REDUCTION SCHEME (CLRS) ECHS launches ‘Complaint and Litigation Reduction Scheme (CLRS)’, wherein all stake holders including Veterans and their dependents, ECHS employees at all echelons and hospitals / other service providers are invited for direct communication with Central Org ECHS to reduce the complaints and litigation. This will assist us in our increased focus on formulation of caring policy and implementation initiatives preserving the time and resources of our veterans who have served the nation in a selfless manner. Please speak to officer handling non medical complaints on Tele No 9968263812, while issues related to medical aspects be discussed on Tele No 9910244611. In case of non resolution, please call on 9971129165. In case of not getting connected, send SMS with Complaint/Litigation reference for us to call back. Your unsettled issues can also be emailed on MEDICINE MANAGEMENT ECHS issues. Comprehensive SOP on Medicine Management includes procurement, accounting and their utilisation in transparent manner. ECHS permits three months medicine issue to our veteran & their dependents with chronic illness, bed ridden patients and those proceeding to foreign countries. OIC Polyclinic have been asked to project correct demand ensuring no wastages.The change will be felt once medicines supply improves through SEMOs and through authorised chemist shops. SOP has been uploaded on ECHS website for reference. ECHS shall ensure due service to the veterans & their dependents.

1. Beneficiaries have following options available for seeking redressal to their grievances:- (a) Online. (i) CPGRAMS – Centralised Public Grievances Redressal & Monitoring System run by Department of Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances, Govt of India which can be accessed on website

Grievance related to ECHS are automatically routed to Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare / Central Organisation ECHS. (ii) Army Veterans Grievance Handling Portal – This portal is launched by Army Veterans Cell for redressing grievances of our esteem veterans. The web id of this portal is

(b) E-mail. E-mail to the Director (Complaint & Litigation) on his official E-mail ID

(c) WhatsApp. WhatsApp No (9868857972) is functional known as “Shape Your Scheme’ and ‘Save Your Scheme’ for enhancement of effectiveness and reporting of issues by beneficiaries.

(d) Normal Post. Forward grievances at the following address :- Director (Complaints & Litigation) Central Organisation ECHS Adjutant General’s Branch Integrated HQ of MoD (Army) Maude Lines Delhi Cantt – 110010

(e) Helpline No. Call Helpline No. 1800114115 (f) Tele Call. Tele / Mob Nos of all appointments of Central Organisation ECHS, Regional Centres and Polyclinics are available on ECHS website. Note :-

Beneficiaries are requested to :-

(i) First approach concerned OIC Polyclinic / Stn HQs / Regional Centre for complaining and resolving the issues expeditiously.

(ii) Lodge grievances online as per Para 1 (a) above for resolving them on fast track basis and also monitoring progress on their grievances. 2. Details / address of CPIO and First Appellate Authority for RTI querries pertaining to ECHS are as under

:- (a) CPIO RTI Cell, Addl DG AE G-6, D-1 Wing Sena Bhawan, Gate No -4 IHQ of MoD (Army) New Delhi-110011

(b) First Appellate Authority First Appellate Authority Provost Marshal Office AG’s Branch, IHQ of MoD Sena Bhawan, New Delhi-110