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Gallantry awardee war veteran struggles for life in Moscow

New Delhi: The family of a war veteran has accused his health insurer of refusing to assist him by making ‘excuses’, even as the retired army major is fighting for life in a Russian hospital after suffering a stroke. Major Manik Jolly, who won the Sena Medal for gallantry in an operation in the Lolab Valley in Kashmir 2000, had gone to Russia to speak on rural innovation at a BRICS summit. He was admitted to a hospital in Moscow on October 1, said his family members and friends, who claimed that they had since been running from pillar to post to get Max Bupa Health Insurance Company to step in to support his treatment.

The retired officer is currently believed to be out of danger. He has been receiving medical care after the Indian Embassy in Moscow stepped in with financial assistance. However, the family has been upset, as they said despite paying an annual premium of more than Rs 90,000 for worldwide policy, the insurance company had refused to step in. Responding to ET’s queries, Max Bupa said in a statement that it would provide all possible assistance to Major Jolly. “Taking into consideration the customer’s longstanding association with Max Bupa and his invaluable contribution to the armed forces, we will provide all possible assistance, within the ambit of policy terms and conditions, and are following up to get relevant documents for us to adjudicate the pre-authorisation of medical expenses incurred by the customer,” it said.

Family members and friends said they had contacted the insurer immediately after Major Jolly fell ill. The company, they said, responded to their request after 10 days of sustained pressure, that too to say that it would not be able to help.

“From the first day when he fell ill at the airport while trying to catch a flight back to India on October 1, we have been running around, making phone calls and sending emails for assistance without any success,” the retired officer’s brother, Anant Jolly, told ET. “Thankfully the Indian embassy has been extremely helpful.”

“There has been no help from the company and it has been difficult to coordinate from here,” said Surpal Singh Deora, a friend who is attending to the retired major in hospital. Sources said that the Indian embassy in Moscow was keeping a tab on the case and would continue to provide assistance as the retired officer is not in a position to be sent home.

Source: Economic Times