Mangaluru, July 23, 2015 : A private doctor’s medical certificate and a recommendation from a councillor are enough to claim Rs. 5,000 as compensation for a dog bite, as per a recent decision by the Standing Committee for Public Health, Education and Social Justice at the corporation.
The decision to allow the Mangaluru City Corporation to make the payment without insisting on a certificate from a government doctor has now sparked a debate.
The committee, in its meeting on July 20, passed an amount of Rs. 80,000 compensation to 16 applicants who applied since this April. Seven had produced certificates given by private doctors and others by the Government Wenlock Hospital. However, payment could be made only after the decision was ratified in the next committee meeting.
In its June 17 meeting, the committee took the decision after officials withheld applications which did not have certificates given by government doctors. The committee chairpersons ruled that officials should place such applications directly before the committee.
“The decision will definitely give scope for misuse of the compensation amount,” said G. Hanumantha Kamath, president, Nagarika Hitarakshana Samithi, Mangaluru.
Mr. Kamath said that one could easily get a certificate from a private doctor and produce it. On what basis, he asked, could a councillor recommend for compensation. He said that the Government Wenlock Hospital charged Rs. 100 per dose of Rabipur vaccine for dog bite.
A victim of dog bite would have to take five such doses costing Rs. 500. The hospital gave a computer-generated receipt for the vaccination.
Concurring with this, a doctor at the Wenlock hospital said that the treatment varied with the severity of bite.
Mr. Kamath said that it was usually people from economically-weaker sections of the society applied for the compensation. Such people rarely approached a private doctor for treating dog bites.
The decision to consider certificates issued by private doctors “naturally raises some concerns and suspicion,” he said.
Courtesy: The Hindu