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Saturday, June 30, 2001

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Medical relief for freedom-fighters

By Our Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI, JUNE 29. The Delhi Cabinet today approved a revised policy for reimbursement of medical expenses incurred by freedom- fighters in private hospitals and nursing homes. So far they were entitled to free treatment from government hospitals only.

Under the proposal approved by the Cabinet, freedom fighters including their spouses, can receive medical treatment up to Rs. 1 lakh from empanelled nursing homes, which would be reimbursed by the government directly.

This decision is likely to go a long way in enabling venerable freedom fighters to obtain treatment from private hospitals and nursing homes. In many cases they were unable to do so because of their poor economic status.

According to the policy the concerned private hospital and nursing home will be required to submit the medical bills with due certification by the freedom fighters to the government and the payment would be cleared within 90 days. In case of major surgical procedure 80 per cent of the estimated charges can be advanced to the approved nursing home, it said.

In another decision, the Cabinet approved that families which draw an annual income up to Rs. 24,200 would be considered as below the poverty line (BPL). It also cleared that the poorest 15.33 per cent segment of total BPL will be benefited under the Antodaya family schemes and will be provided with the ration cards. The Government has directed officials to carry out a survey in the next three months to identify all BPL and Antodaya families.

At the meeting, chaired by the Chief Minister, Ms. Sheila Dikshit, the Cabinet also decided that all those medical officers in government hospitals and dispensaries appointed on contract and ad hoc basis will be entitled to a proper pay scale. The Health Department has been directed to approach the Union Public Service Commission for deciding the mode of filling the posts on a regular basis.

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