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Pensioners seek medical cover
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 24
The Government Pensioners Association has demanded that medicare facilities be provided to Central Government pensioners in areas not covered under the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) as they could not afford those due to dwindling income.

In a memorandum submitted to the Union Finance Minister, Mr P. Chidambaram, the association said the Central Government pensioners dwelling in places covered under the CGHS were in a comfortable position as by paying a token contribution they were getting medicare facilities.

However, those living in areas not covered under the scheme were not eligible for any medical facility except a fixed medical allowance of Rs 100 per month, which was “totally inadequate” in view of the prevailing consultation fee, diagnostic charges and the cost of medicines.

It said on the recommendation of the Fifth Pay Commission, the Central Government had tentatively decided to extend medical attendance rules — 1944 to pensioners so as to bring them on a par with Central Government employees, who while stationed at non-CGHS areas were entitled to full reimbursement of medical expenses incurred by them. It regretted that orders to this effect had not been issued so far with the result that pensioners had to spend a substantial portion of their pension on treatment.

It pointed out that administrative tribunals had also ruled on the applications of some individual pensioners that the expenditure incurred by them on treatment was reimbursable as was the case with Central Government employees. 



A cricketer and cardiologist
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, June 24
He was a prolific run-getter for Madhya Pradesh and one of the youngest cricketers to represent his home state in Ranji Trophy in the mid-eighties, having earlier displayed his prowess with the bat in Cooch Bihar trophy. But perhaps Dr B.L. Aggarwal would be one of those Ranji players who chose medicine as his career and has become a senior cardiologist. He has recently joined Sigma New Life Heart Hospital here.

Dr Aggarwal did his MD from PGI in Chandigarh and completed his DM, cardiology in the year 2000 from Sanjay Gandhi Medical College, Lucknow. He is an expert in echocardiography and invasive cardiology, with proficiency in performing procedures like angioplasty (PTCA), stenting, balloon volvotomy, pacemaker implantation and other invasive cardiac procedures.

Having played for his state as an opening batsman and wicketkeeper, he still maintains close ties with the game by playing cricket with kids of Sarabha Nagar locality whenever time permits him and has a keen desire to give tips to batsmen and wicket-keeping aspirants in the city. “My heroes during cricketing days were Sunil Gavaskar and Syed Kirmani,” he recalls nostalgically.

Putting up very close to the heart institute, Dr Aggarwal claims to have saved at least 40 patients during last couple of months, who were brought in a critical condition and needed medical care without any loss of time. “Patients brought after massive heart attack or myocardial infarction (MI) were put on the support system and life saving procedures like primary PTCA (opening the blocked artery with ballon) were performed even during midnight. Without timely treatment, many of them could have perished,” he remarked with a sense of satisfaction, commitment and pride.

He said being a sportsperson had also helped him a lot during his career as a cardiologist. “I need to keep cool while attending to all cardiac emergencies and performing crucial life saving procedures even at odd hours.”

Dr Aggarwal, though, misses Hyderabad a lot, where he was working last as senior consultant cardiologist in one of the leading heart hospital. In particular, he mentions good roads and infrastructure available in Hyderabad. “The Hyderabadi kebabs too, are a delicacy to relish which I feel I am going to miss for a long time.”



Anil XI register 43-run win
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, June 24
Shivam (62) and Sanchit (57) helped Anil Bharti XI to register a 43-run victory over Patwari XI in the eighth Chaman Lal Malhotra Cricket Cup Tournament (U-14) being organised by the Ludhiana District Cricket Association at the Arya College for Boys ground here today.

Patwari XI won the toss and invited Anil Bharti XI to bat first. In their quota of 30 overs, Anil Bharti XI made 178 runs for the loss of 7 wickets. The main contributors were Shivam and Sanchit, who chipped in with 62 and 57 runs, respectively. Tarsem scored 21 runs.

In reply, Patwari XI could only make 135 runs after losing 9 wickets.

Brief scores: Anil Bharti XI- 178 for 7 ( Shivam 62, Sanchit 57, Tarsem 21; Jashan Sidhu 2 for 37 and Deepak 1 for 34)

Patwari XI- 135 for 9 (Jashan Sidhu 15, Piyush 17, Sunny 36 and Deepak 18; Tarsem 2 for 20, Shivam 2 for 23 and Prince 2 for 21).


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