Instructions have been given to ensure COVID-19 treatment only to serving staff, says State president of welfare association
The All India BSNL Pensioners’ Welfare Association has sent a letter to the Minister of Communications, Ravi Shankar Prasad, requesting him not to discriminate against pensioners in the matter of COVID-19 treatment in hospitals.
There are 30,000 BSNL pensioners in Tamil Nadu and more than 1.5 lakh across the country. “The BSNL introduced BSNL Medical Reimbursement Scheme (MRS) in 2003 to ensure proper healthcare to its serving and retired employees alike. All the orders issued by BSNL since then ensured equal treatment to serving and retired staff,” said R Venkatachalam, State secretary of the association.
He said the Corporate Office directed field offices to settle medical claims from pensioners promptly. Though many of such instructions remained only on paper there was no discrimination between serving and retired staff in this regard.
“Surprisingly, in the present critical pandemic situation, when elderly people are vulnerable, the BSNL has issued instructions on April 29 and May 3, this year to ensure COVID-19 treatment only to serving staff. They have totally neglected the retirees,” said V Rama Rao, State president of the association.
He said the medical bills from pensioners had been pending for three years, but it was being paid to the serving staff. “The assured medical allowance to pensioners is not paid after March 2018. Fund is allotted to make advance payment for COVID-19 treatment for serving staff, but the retirees are totally neglected in the matter,” added Mr. Venkatachalam.
Mr. Rama Rao claimed that BSNL pensioners in large numbers were infected by COVID-19 and a few hundred lost their lives also. “The Infected are not able to take proper treatment for want of funds. Even hospitals empanelled for cashless treatment demand advance payment,” he said.
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