Kerala: No free treatment for health department employees

The direction was issued based on a complaint that the staff and their families were availing free services.
Image used for representative purpose only.
Image used for representative purpose only.

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM : The health department has withdrawn free treatment and services given to its staff and their families in government hospitals, sparking protests.

Dr Reena K J, Director of Health Services, directed head of government hospitals to ensure that permanent employees and staff of hospital development committees (HDCs) pay the fee laid out by HDCs. The direction was issued based on a complaint that the staff and their families were availing free services.

The HDCs, comprising official and non-official members, decide on the fee of various services at hospitals. While outpatient charges are kept as low as Rs 5 for an above-poverty-line patient, diagnostic charges can go upto Rs 500.

The directive has sparked protest from employees. Joint Council general secretary Jayachandran Kallingal asked the government to withdraw the controversial order and restore the benefits.

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