A faint smile was back on Mohammed Yunus Warunkar’s face after collecting the reimbursement for his deceased son’s medical bills under Rajiv Gandhi Jeevandayee Arogya Yojana (RGJAY) that was pending with Arogya Mitras at Sion hospital. He lost 8-year-old Muzammil to a rare disease Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) on September 24, 2012 despite his best efforts to provide him with the finest medical care.
Finally, following four months of exertion and a MiD DAY report on December 24 (‘After son’s death, man struggles to get refund from hospital’) Yunus received the sanctioned amount (after deduction of taxes) on February 3. Yunus had to run from pillar to post and endure a long wait despite the fact that all the required papers were submitted by him as early as September.
We had also reported how for three months, whenever Yunus approached the Arogya Mitras at Sion hospital regarding the progress of his case, he was given a new reason for the delay. The Arogya Mitras had claimed that new clauses put up by Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) had created the confusion and deferral in the matter.
However, after the MiD DAY report a senior functionary from the Yojana office called up Yunus and informed him that his file — which was pending with the accounts department for the lack of a verification stamp would be cleared the same day. The file got authorisation with the signature of the head of the department that treated Muzammil in September.
Yunus said, “I was overjoyed by the mere fact that my file had been dispatched from Sion hospital after a delay of three months. Following the story by MiD DAY, two senior representatives from the Yojana office called me up, enquiring about my problem. I told them how I was in desperate need of money to repay my debts and how my sanctioned reimbursement had not reached me. They instantly told me that there would be no more stoppage.”
He added, “Initially I couldn’t believe my ears and rushed to the hospital. There I was told that all that was needed was simply a signature from a senior doctor, and I got the formalities completed. Within a couple of hours I was told that my file had been forwarded by the accounts department.”
Even after the clearance of his dossier from Sion hospital in December, Yunus had to do the rounds of various offices to confirm the status of his sanctioned settlement. Yunus had given a written letter concurring that he had been intimated about the actual amount he would receive after tax and other charges are deducted. The authorised amount was to be deposited in the ‘vendor account’ of the pharmacy, from where Yunus procured the medicines for his son’s treatment.
However, while the yojana authorities claimed that his money had been credited to the vendor account, the pharmacy owner continued to deny this. This tussle lasted over a month until Yunus received the good news from the pharmacy owner on Sunday.
With a smile on his face, Yunus said, “I have finally received the reimbursement of Rs 39,000 from the pharmacy owner. Though I had spent over Rs 48,000 on my son’s medication, I have at least recovered some of the money. I can finally repay the moneylenders who helped me at the time of need and will be able to sleep peacefully at night. Though the grief of my son’s death will remain, the sword of debt hanging over my head will now cease to exist.”