Thiruvananthapuram: Finance minister Dr T M Thomas Isaac has ensured that he will not be made to look petty in future. While leaving Kottakkal Arya Vaidya Sala after 14 days of treatment on July 20, Isaac specifically told the hospital authorities not to list the number of towels he had used in the bill.
This self-mockery of sorts was revealed by the minister himself in his latest Facebook post. An RTI reply that did the rounds early this year had shown that Isaac had spent Rs 1.20 lakh for treatment at Kottakkal Arya Vaidya Sala for 13 days during December 2016. But what caused him major embarrassment was the revelation that he had also sought reimbursement for 14 towels that were used for the treatment. A livid Isaac had then stated that towels were part of the treatment and it was not as if he had bought it from outside and then made the state pay for it. This time, therefore, the hospital subsumed the towel bill within the larger bill.
After the media had taken him to task early this year, Isaac is almost 'in your face' about his decision to visit Kottakkal this year. The latest Facebook post, in which he quite sportingly revisits the towel controversy, suggests that the minister is not apologetic about his annual sojourn at Kottakkal. In fact, by revealing facts about his health that he had never before made public, he even hints that he has no choice.
“These days my problems are a bit grave. The spine has already been causing problems for the nerves. It spreads as pain to the legs. Now I have certain neuropathy issues. And a small infract, too. These were diagnosed at the Sree Chithra Institute. There is nothing that can be done. Diabetes and blood pressure should be kept in control,” Isaac's FB post says.
He says that his diabetes and blood pressure has dropped to normal levels after following the advice of Kottakkal's legendary Dr P K Warrier. The minister also answers why he prefers Kottakkal Arya Vaidya Sala. “The presence of Dr P K Warrier,” Isaac writes. “Though he is 95 he comes for rounds every day and talks to me for at least 15 minutes,” he says.
By keeping the visit transparent, Isaac has at least made sure that a future RTI reply would not be much of a weapon to strike him with.