Four years on, principal's mediclaim still unsettled

For 61-year-old Gopal Chitnis, his unsettled mediclaim is not only the source of intense hurt, but it has also led to financial and emotional stress. Four years after the former government school principal paid Rs 71,000 towards the medical treatment of his 83-year-old mother Sumatibai, he is still waiting to be reimbursed —thanks to the apathy of the state’s Pay and Provident Fund Unit office, Pune division.

Distressed: Former school principal Gopal Chitnis has been running from pillar to post to get his mother’s hospital bill reimbursed. Pic/krunal Gosavi

In 2009, Chitnis was a principal at Sau Sushilabai Veerkar High School in Shukravar Peth, a government-aided school, when his mother was hospitalised for obstructed hernia at a private hospital between January 3 and 16. According to government rules, after the treatment the government employee can claim compensation after submitting the hospital bill.

“The journey of my mother’s medical reimbursement file started in February 2009 after a certificate from the government hospital confirmed that the ailment comes under the list, which can be reimbursed,” said Chitnis.

In the last four years, Chitnis has submitted 35 various documents and his file has traversed from the zilla parishad to the deputy directorate’s office, state directorate of Education and Education Department in Mumbai.

After completing all governmental formalities, finally, on May 18, 2012, the then Education Officer of the zilla parishad, Vidya Shinde, in her authority approved the total bill amount of Rs 71,306 (MiD DAY has copy of the document) and directed the Pay and Provident Fund Unit, Pune division to settle the claim.

“After receiving the final approval, nothing has been done and the file is still pending at the local office since the last 10 months. Whenever I visited the office, the senior clerk asked me to send my school’s peon to settle my claim,” said Chitnis.

When questioned as to why the claim was not being settled, senior clerk Ashok Jadhav said, “This is not the only case. There are many such medical reimbursement cases pending on my table.”

Anil Bansode, who is in charge of the provident fund office, said, “We are expecting funds from state government by the end of this month. In Chitnis’ case, since all other formalities have already been completed, we will settle the claim as soon as we receive the funds from the state.” 

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