India: Online Bill Processing for Veterans

Online Bill Processing for Veterans
Shri AK Antony, Defence Minister of India inaugurated the online processing of medical bills under the The Ex Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) at Kochi on 13 Apr 13.

The ECHS is an important initiative of the Government of India wherein the veterans are afforded the best and latest medical care available in the country through 28 regional centers and poly clinics. The online bill processing system inaugurated would speed up the reimbursement of money incurred by the empanelled private hospitals on medical care provided to the veterans. The medical bills incurred at the civil empanelled hospitals were hitherto processed manually resulting in significant delays due to the overwhelming usage and popularity of the scheme.

Speaking on the occasion, Shri Antony narrated the tough service conditions under which the Indian Armed Forces serve in land, sea and air and said that the welfare of the veterans who have given the best years of their life for the nation, is uppermost priority for the Government of India. Shri Antony also informed the audience of the several pension enhancements the Government of India has provided recently despite prevalent economic conditions. While lauding the Government of Kerala for its slew of initiatives for Ex Service men welfare, he also exhorted the Government official machinery at the local levels to pay special attention to resolving problems raised by serving Armed Forces personnel as well as Ex Servicemen. Vice Admiral Satish Soni, Flag Officer Commanding in Chief Southern Naval Command presided over the function.

Prior to the implementation of the ECHS , the veterans were treated in Armed Forces hospitals and were referred to advanced civil hospitals only in rare cases. Under the ECHS, veterans can enroll with an initial entry fee after which there is no financial limit for treatment as well age or medical condition restrictions.However, with the online processing of the bills , implemented at the Regional Centre at Kochi, the claims would be settled fast and the amount credited to the empanelled hospitals electronically. The online bill processing is a web based user friendly application implemented by UTI Infrastructure Technology and Services Limited, a company owned by the Government of India. Kerala has presently nearly 4,80,000 Ex Servicemen who would avail of the ECHS facility. Union Minister Shri KV Thomas, Peoples representatives from the area and Major General J George, Managing Director of ECHS and a large number of veterans attended the function. Commodore MR Ajayakumar, Station Commander of the Navy at Kochi proposed vote of thanks.

Naval Today Staff, April 15, 2013; Image: Indian Navy