The Punjab and Haryana high court on Tuesday put the Punjab government on notice on a petition by a Sangrur society challenging the cashless treatment scheme of the government for its employees and pensioners.
The high court bench of justice SS Saron and justice Lisa Gill sought response of the government, the Oriental Insurance Company Ltd and the MD India Healthcare Services (TPA) Pvt Ltd, arrayed as parties, by August 23 on the petition filed by the Aniket Health Welfare Society, Sangrur.
The petitioner has demanded quashing of the October 2015 notification of the scheme and sought direction to reformulate the scheme. It was submitted that as per the scheme, it was compulsory for all serving employees and pensioners, except a few, to get treatment from either the government or empanelled hospitals.
Over three lakh employees and pensioners are covered under the scheme. The scheme is optional for all-India service officers, serving and ex-MLAs, serving and ex-judicial officers and judges of the high court. The scheme covers medical expenses of up to a sum of `3 lakh per family per year and the state government has paid premium to the Oriental Insurance Company for implementation of this scheme. The company has further delegated the MD India Healthcare Services TPA Pvt Ltd, to run this scheme.
The court was told that the cashless scheme had rendered the beneficiaries as treatmentless and had left them in the lurch, as medical reimbursement had been stopped on the pretext of starting this scheme. “The empanelled hospitals are limited and many don’t meet the needs, as most are eye-care or orthopedic hospitals,” the court was told.