Mumbai: Student groups object IIT-B's 'foggy' medical policy

Mumbai: Student groups object IIT-B's 'foggy' medical policy

The alleged absence of a proper policy was revealed when the Ambedkar Periyar Phule Study Circle (APPSC), a student collective at IIT-B, filed an RTI with the institute to which it responded with ‘there is no such health insurance policy document.’

Aditi AlurkarUpdated: Tuesday, May 23, 2023, 12:08 AM IST
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Mumbai: Nearly a year after presenting their demands during the fee hike protest, student groups from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B) claim that they still haven't received a formal document explaining the institute’s medical insurance policy that helps students seek treatment from the in-house IIT-B hospital.

In 2022, the IIT Bombay had allegedly promised to provide a detailed document explaining its medical insurance policy to its students who pay a total of ₹1750 as a medical fee and ₹250 as an insurance fee each semester, with little clarity as to what the policy entails. With B.Tech students residing on campus for four years, the fee has to be paid eight times. While M.Tech students reside for two years and Ph.D. students can reside at IIT-B for nearly six years, increasing their number of installments.

The alleged absence of a proper policy was revealed when the Ambedkar Periyar Phule Study Circle (APPSC), a student collective at IIT-B, filed an RTI with the institute to which it responded with ‘there is no such health insurance policy document.’ 

Unhappy with the lacunae in the current document on medical fees, a spokesperson from APPSC stated, “There is no medical insurance policy for students at IIT Bombay even though students pay 1750 as medical fee and 250 as insurance fee. The procedure for availing of medical expenses is completely arbitrary and opaque. Despite the promise of making a proper document, nothing is done.”

At present, IIT-B has published ‘medical entitlement rules for registered students’ on its website explaining the purview of the medical help extended to students. While the document largely talks about the types of treatments and reimbursements it covers students believe that the policy is still very vague and open to interpretation. “The policy talks about covering emergency surgeries but does not specify what falls under their definition of an ‘emergency’. Illnesses like kidney stones, hernias, piles, etc, are also not covered. It is arbitrary, some get help, some don't,” said a Ph.D. student from IIT Bombay. 
In response to the allegations made by the students, an official from IIT Bombay stated, “The student medical rules are made available for the students on the website. The institute has also paid much more than what is given in the document to save the life of students.”

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