Badly looked after
By: Jalil Ahmed
ISLAMABAD: Journalists, who in the years gone by laid the foundation of the government-funded Associated Press of Pakistan (APP), today remain unappreciated by the news agency’s management. APP retirees, including myself, served the agency with diligence and devotion for four decades, both during war and peace. Scanned service records will bear out that this scribe served the APP in varied positions, including as an accredited special correspondent to India.
Instead of appreciating the devotion of former employees to the national news agency and the country, the APP has failed to ensure our legitimate healthcare for the past three years. Chemists and hospitals on the APP’s panel in Karachi have long since discontinued our medical provisions and treatment.
Consequently, APP retirees like myself (who suffer from cardiac ailment) have had to manage food and medical provisions through their paltry pensions, which have also been badly affected by the runaway inflation. Moreover, medical bills are not reimbursed in time, adding to our hardships. My accumulated medical bills as of August 2012 have risen to Rs105,434. The amount was incurred on the purchase of medicines and laboratory and doctor’s fees since 2009, and I see no immediate sign of reimbursement. This is despite a series of telephone calls, emails and monthly letters having been written to the APP.
Constrained with financial hardship, I urge the management and the federal secretary for information to immediately intervene in the matter of payment of the overdue medical bills and ensure the availability of medical care to APP retirees like myself. I need it all the more as my wife is an acute asthma patient.