September 9, 2013 4:06:40 am
At a time when Finance Minister P Chidambaram is talking of austerity measures,the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) has taken a decision that may eventually cost the government exchequer heavy.
The decision allows Indian Administrative Service (IAS),Indian Police Service (IPS) and Indian Forest Service (IFoS) officers and their family members to get treatment abroad at government cost.
The circular says,The scale of expenditure and eligibility is identical to scale of expenditure and eligibility of an official of the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) of the corresponding grade in the Ministry of External Affairs.
Other central civil services may start demanding similar provisions and it may finally cost the exchequer heavy,an Indian Revenue Service officer said and added,We will raise our demand that all central civil services should get the same facility.
The DoPT notification states the actual cost of treatment abroad for two months and the air fare of the patient and an attendant will be borne by the government. Treatment tenure can be extended on recommendation of a committee constituted by the government. The notification was made amending the relevant rules.
Sanjay R. Bhoosreddy,Secretary,IAS Association,says,It is the right step. We cannot delay such decisions since there could be medical emergencies. The only thing is that officers should not opt for treatment abroad if treatment is available here in India.
Treatment abroad include complex/ high-risk cardio-vascular surgery; bone-marrow transplant; complex medical and oncological disorders; complex high-risk cases in micro-vascular and neurosurgery and other complex ailments. These rules apply to around 10,500 officials of the three services,around 4,500 IAS officers 3,300 IPS and 2,700 IFoS .
The circular is addressed to Chief Secretaries of states to bring to notice of all members of these services. The circular overrules another dated November 7,1983 which limits reimbursement to expenditure incurred had such treatment been received in India in a Government Hospital or a private hospital or nursing home,specially recognised and accepted by the Director General of Health Services.
The earlier circular said air passage would not be reimbursed.
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