Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, June 4
The central government has relaxed the rules for getting medical advance without documentation from the Employees Provident Fund in cases of emergency hospitalisation on account of serious life-threatening illnesses including Covid-19.
“A lump sum medical advance up to Rs 1 lakh may be granted by the authority competent to grant medical advance by relaxing the formality of estimate from the hospital treating the employee or for depositing the advance with the hospital for starting treatment,” a letter issued this week by the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) in the Ministry of Labour and Employment states.
“This advance should be granted immediately, preferably on the same day, If it Is a working day else on Immediately succeeding working day after the receipt of application of advance without insisting for the estimate of expenditure from hospital /other documentation,” the letter adds.
Stating that the procedure of getting an estimate for granting medical advance In cases of hospitalisation on account of serious life-threatening illnesses has been revisited, the ministry observed that many times it becomes imperative to get the patient Immediately admitted in hospital to save his or her life, and It is not possible to get the estimate from the hospital in such situations.
“A need is felt for streamlining the advance facility for such serious in-patient’s treatment in hospital wherever family members of employees are not able to manage estimate from the hospital concerned in which such patient has been admitted in emergency Sometimes a patient employee may be in ICU where the estimate is not known in advance,” the letter said.
After receipt of estimate for treatment subsequently but before the discharge of the patient from the hospital, if entitlement of medical advance is more than Rs 1 lakh, then additional advance will be sanctioned.
The medical advance amount may either be credited to the salary account of the employee or can be paid to the hospital concerned directly as per the request of a family member or employee.
After discharge from the hospital, the employee is required to submit bills within 45 days and the amount of advance paid would be adjusted against the final bill of the hospital as per rules and entitlement.
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