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Medical reimbursement records of MPs, MLAs, Govt officials should be made public
It refers to media reports about a Karnatak MLA, MH Ambressh from Mandya getting medical reimbursement of Rs.1.5 cr for medical treatment abroad at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore in 2014.
An MLA of Delhi in three years had burdened exchequer by Rs 1,31,93, 055 claimed as medical reimbursement. There was also a case when Rs 2 lakh had to be returned by a Delhi MLA because he had wrongly claimed against the medical treatment cost of his mother, who was not entitled because of being not dependent on the concerned MLA.

The central government should take urgent steps for legislation to put annual amounts of medical reimbursements of all individuals reimbursed by governments and/or Public Sector Undertakings and others at the cost of public exchequer on the websites of respective public authorities. Since, only amounts are to be disclosed, such legislation will not in any way invade privacy of those claiming medical reimbursements.

However, segregation can be made on medical expenses reimbursed for treatment abroad and inside the country. It becomes necessary because the Supreme Court dismissed a CIC verdict allowing medical reimbursements of individual judges. It would be good if the apex court suo-mottu reviews its verdict in view of heavy misuse of medical reimbursements at public expense directing such disclosure compulsory on websites of all public authorities.

Many entitled ones use (rather misuse) public money for treatment in luxurious five-starred hospitals and even in foreign countries. Since the government cannot provide such princely facilities to its normal citizens, it has no right to allow princely medical reimbursement at public cost to any person however high he/she may be posted.

Mediclaim policies of public sector insurance companies can instead be provided at public cost to those entitled. Insurance companies can be asked to issue some exclusively designed mediclaim policies for families for the purpose. 

Moreover, arrangements can be made for priority treatment at the government hospitals/dispensaries for the entitled ones even by allowing jumping the queues and in private chambers of doctors.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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