TODAY -

Violating medical reimbursement rules :: Chronicling case history of two cancer patients
Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal, December 27 2013 : All employees of the State Government enjoy the right to medical reimbursement, but there seems to be biasness in the conduct of Medical Directorate while handing out reimbursement to the employees.

Surprisingly, the Medical Board set up by the Medical Directorate of State Government even summoned even bed-ridden patients for the process of giving out the reimbursement.

There is strong suspicion over violation of the reimbursement rules by the Medical Directorate to facilitate huge amount of reimbursement to high ranking officials and lawmakers for treatment of their near and dear ones at some reputed hospitals abroad.

In a clear instance of partiality, one of the two cancer patients, who underwent treatment at the same private hospital, was granted reimbursement while the other patient's reimbursement has been kept withheld.

According to reliable source, the Medical Board referred two State Government employees for treatment of cancer at Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai this midyear.

The family members of both patients went to Mumbai for treatment by selling off their properties.

However, the patients could be treated at Tata Memorial Hospital as there were many other patients and they were told to wait for three months by the hospital authorities.

The employees of Tata Memorial Hospital advised the two patients to get treatment at Dr Balabhai Nanavati Hospital saying that the hospital is actually run by the doctors of Tata Hospital and it has the same state-of-the-art equipments and facilities.

On being enquired about medical reimbursement, the authorities of Dr Balabhai Hospital informed that patients from other states had availed even advance payment of their reimbursement for treatment in the hospital.

Both patients underwent surgeries at Dr Balabhai Hospital by spending about Rs.5 to 10 lakhs.

However, they could not continue treatment in the hospital owing to huge costs.

They were brought back to Imphal and given further chemotherapy and radiotherapy at RIMS Hospital.

One of the two patients died after one month of treatment while the other survived.

The cancer survivor was granted reimbursement through an office memorandum issued by Director of Health Services L Bijoy.

However, the deceased patient has been denied reimbursement on the ground that ex-post facto approval could not be granted under the rules of medical imbursement.

The case of these two patients clearly shows the biased conduct of the Medical Directorate.

Both patients underwent treatment at the same private hospital in Mumbai.

The survivor has been given reimbursement while the deceased has been deprived of his right to medical reimbursement.

Above all, the need to summon patients by the Medical Board has to be rectified.

The bed-ridden patients are often brought before the Medical Board in the process of availing medical reimbursement.

Usually, the Medical Board consists of only three/four doctors.

The Board could visit a bed-ridden patient at his/her home instead of calling for appearance.


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