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BSNL Cash Crunch Also Affecting Cashless Treatment Scheme

The cash crunch in BSNL has also hit the cashless medical treatment scheme for employees in the state-owned telecom service provider.

Employees of BSNL can avail cashless treatment in designated hospitals. It has been learnt that the hospitals bills have not been cleared by the organization since close to six months. Many of the hospitals have started sending reminders for clearing the bills.

Majority of the BSNL employees solely depend on the cashless scheme for medical emergencies. Each employee has a card which covers hospitalization. Once an employee is admitted to a hospital, the bill is directly submitted to BSNL. The cases from Nagpur are forwarded to the circle office in Mumbai from where it further goes to the head office at Delhi which clears the cases, said a source.

In Nagpur alone bills to the tune of Rs1.5 crore have not been sanctioned since close to six months, said sources. The funds have not been allotted to the circle office itself from where it would come down to Nagpur, said the source.

Naresh Kumbhare, the district president of BSNL Employees Association, said the pending bills are likely to hamper treatment if the hospitals stop taking in patients from BSNL. Delayed salary has already led to financial stress for a number of employees. In the normal course, the bills are expected to be cleared in a month’s time, he said.

TOI talked to the management representatives in a couple of hospitals who confirmed that payments from BSNL have been delayed. However, they also said that so far they have not begun rejecting the patients from BSNL.

A doctor running a general hospital said, the bills have been due since four months and repeated reminders have been sent to BSNL. Finally there has been a response that the bills may be cleared within a week. “We have not stopped taking the patients and are continuing with the services,” he said requesting anonymity.

Management sources in a heart hospital also confirmed that the bills were not cleared since at least a couple of months adding that even here they are continuing to accept the patients.

The crisis in BSNL has also led to some of the banks avoid lending to BSNL employees. “There is a clear risk in granting loans to BSNL staffers under the current scenario. As there is uncertainty over payment of salaries itself, banks are wary of clearing the loan cases,” said a source in a private bank requesting anonymity.―Times of India

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