AFMS gearing up for boom in ex-servicemen population

Vice-Admiral V.K. Singh

Vice-Admiral V.K. Singh  

Staff Reporter

Sixty thousand Defence personnel retire every year

Plans on to ensure equipment, staff, infrastructureMoU with L.V. Prasad Eye Institute for treatment, training

HYDERABAD: The ever-increasing number of ex-service personnel and their dependants, who rely on the Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS) for healthcare, is ringing alarm bells in the Ministry of Defence.

Union Minister of State for Defence M.M. Pallam Raju, speaking after inaugurating a CT Scan Centre at the Secunderabad Military Hospital on Friday, said there were 22.5 lakh retired personnel, with 60,000 being added every year.

Together with their families and dependants, the number has quadrupled and can put an enormous strain on military hospitals and the AFMS. "We are reviewing the medical services and the Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) to ensure medical care to all these people without causing any strain to military hospitals. A lot of planning is going on to ensure equipment, strengthening of staff and infrastructure," the Minister said.

Eye care

Earlier, AFMS Director-General Surgeon Vice Admiral V.K. Singh signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the L.V. Prasad Eye Institute, represented by the Institute Founder Director G.N. Rao, for free tertiary eye care for all members of the Armed Forces and their dependants and also for training of ophthalmologists of the Armed Forces.

Vice Admiral Singh said modernisation of the 137 hospitals attached to the services was in progress.

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