Members of the Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) will now be permitted to avail treatment under the alternative system of medicine that is administered by the Ministry of AYUSH.
ECHS beneficiaries can avail medical facilities under Ayurveda, yoga and naturopathy, Unani, siddha and homoeopathy system of medicines for both, OPD as well as in-patient treatment, a circular issued by the ECHS’s central organisation earlier this month states. Treatment would be permitted only at AYUSH hospitals or other government-run medical centres having facilities for the same and prior permission of the ECHS authorities would be required.
Though Ayurveda and homoeopathy systems are popular, the little known Unani is a Perso-rabic system of medicine based on the teachings of ancient Greek physicians, Siddha is a system of traditional medicine originating in ancient Tamil Nadu. Treatment under the ECHS is provided through a network of 426 polyclinics across the country, along with a number of private empanelled hospitals, both of which follow the allopathic system. It has a clientele of 52 lakh beneficiaries, including ex-servicemen and their dependents.