Cantt board employees seek direct admission to private hospitals

The employees of Khadki Cantonment Board (KCB) have again urged the board that they be allowed direct admission to private hospitals and exempted from taking permission of the board before hospitalisation. They claim that getting official permissions delays treatment.

The issue was raised at a recent board meeting. However, the board was unanimous that the cantonment employees should first avail themselves of the treatment at either the cantonment or state hospitals. The board was of the view that the employees should be allowed to seek treatment at private hospitals only in case it was not possible in these hospitals.

KCB office superintendent V R Panse said there was no bar on employees seeking emergency treatment from private hospitals. However, they should inform the board within 24 hours of hospitalisation, he said. Panse added that in case of general hospitalisation, the board employees would have to get clearance from the cantonment hospital's Resident Medical Officer (RMO).

The board unanimously resolved that the employees should obtain permissions to ensure there was no 'malpractice' in the clearance of medical bills. S L Kamble, an elected member, said the employees had informed the board earlier that their treatment was getting delayed.

RMO of Khadki cantonment hospital, R C Bhonsle, said there was no delay in clearance of medical bills. "On an average, we clear 30 cases a month. We clear bills for all kinds of ailments — from minor complaints like cough to major ailments like heart disease," he said.

Senior cantonment officials said any exemption in permission has to be cleared by the Defence Ministry in New Delhi as KCB is governed by Central Services (Medical Attendance) Rules (CMAR).

Cantonment board members said making it mandatory for employees to first look for treatment at government hospitals also works in favour of the board and helps it save money. "The employees are treated at the cantonment hospital on priority. There is no delay," said Kamble.

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