A huge scam in medical reimbursement, running into lakhs of rupees, has come to light in BSNL division of East Godavari district.
The misuse of the provision was found in Circle Vigilance and the inspection of the branch audits in each district with East Godavari topping the list. After preliminary findings, the chief general manager, Telecom, AP Circle, Hyderabad, has sent a confidential circular to all general managers, asking them to look into the issues that emerged from the inspections.
It was observed that medical reimbursement claims of the employees with vouchers have not been properly checked and the precautions not taken while processing or passing the claims. The GMS have been asked to take stringent action on bogus medical claims. In the case of East Godavari, it was found that 10 to 15 per cent of the employees were claiming medical reimbursement with bogus claims. A medical practitioner said some employees force doctors or even bribe them to issue certificates for diseases such as lumbago, a common musculoskeletal disorder, dysfunctional uterine bleeding (DUB), TB and PUO (pyrexia of unknown origin-viral fever) which do not require surgery. But, the cost of treatment of these diseases is high and, in some cases. hospitalisation is required.
A pharmacist owning a shop on the main road said the practice is common. “Some employees of BSNL, ONGC and GAIL make bogus claims. We get 20 per cent of the total claim, but take all precautions while issuing bills,” he added.
When contacted, BSNL general manager G. Raghavendra Rao said he had issued an internal circular of the same nature -- which the circle office has now given -- three months ago and inquiry into the claims is under way. There are some bogus claims, but a clear picture will emerge only after the inquiry, he added.
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