The Madras High Court on Friday sought a clarification from the State Government as to whether those covered under the Chief Minister’s Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme (CMCHIS) were eligible for cashless medical treatment at private hospitals if they were admitted after being diagnosed with dengue.
Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M. Sundar directed Additional Government Pleader (AGP) Vasudha Thiagarajan to obtain instructions in that regard from the Health Secretary by October 13. The direction was issued after advocate A.P. Suryaprakasam, who had filed a public interest litigation, claimed that dengue was not covered under CMCHIS.
The judges also directed the Commissioner of the Greater Chennai Corporation to submit a detailed status report on the steps being taken by the civic body to control the mosquito menace, as well as the spread of vector-borne diseases. The judges wanted to know what had been done so far to clean the Cooum and Adyar, as well as the Buckingham canal.
During the course of hearing, the Chief Justice agreed with the petitioner that the accumulation of garbage on the rivers flowing through the city limits was a cause of concern.
‘No visible difference’
Mr. Suryaprakasam said that about ₹900 crore was allotted for desilting the rivers and keeping them free from garbage.
Yet, no visible difference in the upkeep of the rivers could be felt by the people and nobody knew what happened to the huge amount allocated for the work, he alleged.
He went on to state that poor patients were unable to get treated for dengue in government hospitals due to overcrowding.
“These people are unable to go to private hospitals because they do not have money. The private hospitals in fact turn down poor patients, who approach them for treatment because dengue is not covered under CMCHIS. Only major surgeries are covered under the insurance scheme implemented through government as well as select private hospitals,” he added.