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Karnataka govt to foot Ambareesh's Rs 1.16-cr medical bill

Bangalore, July 15, 2014, DHNS: 1:43 IST
Housing Minister M H Ambareesh's medical bill to the tune of Rs 1.16 crore will be reimbursed by the State government.  DH photo
Blessed are the netas whose medical expenses and foreign tours rarely make a dent in their finances. Reason: The government is ready to foot the bills.

Enjoying such privileges is Housing Minister M H Ambareesh. His medical bill to the tune of Rs 1.16 crore will be reimbursed by the State government.

As per a notification issued by the Department of Personnel & Administration (protocol) on July 11, the government will reimburse the amount he paid for treatment at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore in February-March this year.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who also heads the finance department, has given the clearance for relaxing certain norms to reimburse the medical bills.

As per the Medical Attendance Rule of 1958, ministers have to take medical treatment within the country, if the required facilities are available. The maximum reimbursement in such cases is usually Rs 5 lakh.

However, in case of Ambareesh, the rule was relaxed as his family decided to take him to Singapore. The chief minister approved this considering it as a special case.

The notification makes no mention of the nature of health problems faced by the minister. However, it states that the cost of his treatment in Singapore, air ambulance expenses, travel cost of his wife Sumalatha and three doctors — Dr M A Shekar (HoD, Department of Medicine, Mysore Medical College), Dr K S Satish (Vikram Hospital) and Dr N Raghunand (Vikram Hospital) — are included in the bill, which comes to a whopping Rs 1,16,90,137.

In addition, Ambareesh’s medical expenses at Vikram Hospital, where he received treatment initially, are yet to be cleared by the Finance Department. Sources said the government may have to clear another Rs 5 lakh worth of bills.

The minister was admitted to Vikram Hospital from February 21 to 28. He was then airlifted to the Singapore hospital, where he stayed till March 22. Ambareesh’s family took the advice of actor Rajnikanth and shifted him to the Singapore hospital.

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