The high court of Tripura in its recent judgement of Kali Sankar Baidya vs. The State of Tripura under coram of Chief Justice Akil Kureshi directed the government to process the medical reimbursement bills and release the same to the extent as per the Government policy the same are payable, within eight weeks and it cannot be cancelled if prior referral order from medical board was not taken.

The petitioner, having faced 20 kg weight loss and drastic depletion of HB he was shifted to GBP Hospital on 11th November 2019 and was advised for colonoscopy due to possible charges of colon cancer. Further, he was operated on 9th December 2014 along with 12 cycles of chemotherapy were carried between 28th January 2015 to 21st July 2015 at TATA Memorial hospital Mumbai.

Though the respondents argued that such bill cannot be passed because prior referral order was not obtained, and he had to present himself before the medical board to prove urgent grounds for travelling and getting treatment outside the state but considerable time was lost petitioner reporting early symptoms of possible serious ailment and actual detection of suffering from Cancer. The application seeking medical reimbursement for Rs.3,72,031 was rejected on the grounds mentioned earlier.                                                     

Hustling between his health and waiting for the Medical board to pass referral order, he went on to seeking treatment without wasting much time in waiting for the referral order.

Self-preservation of one’s life is necessary concomitant of the right to life enshrined in Article 21 of the Constitution of India, fundamental in nature, sacred, precious and inviolable and therefore right to self-preservation and importance & validity of the duty has a species in the right of self-defence in criminal law. The wise always undertake the protective measures for the body. Even the persons suffering from cancer and other diseases do not wish to get rid of the body. Hence, Medical reimbursement claims cannot be rejected merely because prior referral order was not obtained before taking treatment outside state, High Court of Tripura ruled out.

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