06 July 2011
By, Abhinav Sharma
Justice Ajay Rastogi said, “It appears there is no one in the state government to look into the fact that a pensioner, who served the state government for decades, has a right to better treatment after retirement. We are overburdened with litigations where pensioners approach the court for reimbursement of huge expenses incurred in better private hospitals.”
“It is difficult to understand how the government can force a pensioner or his dependent wife at the fag end of their life to get treatment only in government hospitals where there are lot of problems,” observed Justice Rastogi.
The court made the observations while allowing a writ petition by one retired S N Sarraf. It directed the medical and health department to reimburse the former chief planning officer of the department Rs 186,000 paid to the Fortis Escort Hospital against angioplasty of his wife Shakuntala.
Shakuntala had a severe heart attack in 2008 and was first taken to Stelite Hospital at Sethi colony here but due to lack of specialized care she was shifted to SDMH and later to Fortis.
The state government argued, according to the Rajasthan Pensioners Medical Relief Scheme, 2008, the private hospital was not recognized and further Shakuntala could have been admitted in the cardiology unit at the SMS Hospital.
Justice Rastogi took a serious note of the fact and held, “The government cannot force a person to choose a hospital. The Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) is a much better scheme. The state government must, look to the plight of pensioners and implement a similar scheme immediately.”