The Court passed the judgment on a petition filed by an Assistant Professor at the Catholicate College and his father, who is completely dependent on him and was recently diagnosed with cancer.
He was taken to a private specialty hospital for treatment, which was recognised by a 2016 Government Order to facilitate medical reimbursement benefits under the Kerala Government Servants Medical Attendance Rules.
In 2018, he underwent surgery at the Laproscopic Department and subsequently the petitioner applied for reimbursement.
Later in 2020, the government issued a circular stating that unless treatment was availed at a government recognised private hospital, medical reimbursement could not be availed. Therefore, the reimbursement claim was rejected.
This prompted the petitioner to approach the High Court through advocates Jacob P Alex, Joseph P Alex and Manu Shankar P.
It was contended that the Medical and Surgical Oncology Department of the Hospital was recognised and recommended by the government and therefore, the denial of reimbursement on the ground that the procedure was done laparoscopically, could not be sustained.
This was countered by Government Pleader Jimmy George who submitted that in light of the financial constraints thrown up by the pandemic in the recent past, the State had decided to follow stricter conditions for reimbursement of medical treatments.