Colonel Jeetpal Singh (retd), who sat on protest for more than six hours, said the budgetary allocation for the Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) for defence officers was poor and demanded that it should be increased.
“Since 2003, many defence officers have enrolled in the scheme but the budget is so low that they are not getting sufficient medical facilities,” the army veteran said.
Colonel Singh (retd) was part of an anti-terror operation in April 1996, in which he had suffered a serious injury in an IED blast in RS Pura sector of J&K. An NCO and a Pakistani terrorist had been killed in that incident.
At the protest, he was joined by Colonel Subhash Sharma (retd) and a few others, who came to show solidarity. Colonel Sharma said compared to what a beneficiary of Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) gets under the scheme, an ECHS beneficiary gets only one-fourth.
Both the retired colonels claimed that there had been several incidents where retired defence personnel had been denied admission by hospitals. Colonel Sharma (retd) said on Thursday, a Delhi hospital denied admission to the wife of retired havaldar Kulwant Singh when she needed a liver transplant.
When TOI spoke to Havaldar Singh, he said in March, after his family learnt that his wife’s liver was damaged, after which he got a permission letter made from the DC Jammu. He said he went to a Delhi hospital, which referred him to another institute.