Sick FAO pensioners shamefully treated by Cigna health insurers
ROME -- Thousands of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) who devoted their lives to the UN agency are being denied robotic surgery and subject to lengthy delays for vital operations by health insurer Cigna including one 76-year-old lady UN veteran who was being forced to have heart surgery Tuesday without knowing if Cigna will cover the heavy financial cost or not, FAO sources say.
FAO director general Qu Dongyu has been made aware of the deficiencies of Cigna coverage after pensioners attempted to start a class action for compensation over the pisspoor service. Qu's response was to arrange to pay off the main mover in the class action by offering to pay their legal costs in return for not taking the case to the ILO tribuinal. They received reimbursement of legal costs of some 60,000 euros in their bank account the next day, leaving other pensioners receiving no support from the toothless FAO pensioners' association.
Pensioners still want to take legal action over the shortcomings of Cigna but face the usual problem that FAO has immunity under Italian jurisdictions, though it is not above breaking its immunity to try and silence Italian Insider in the Italian courts, a highly unusual move for a UN specialised agency.
The longstanding health insurer for FAO staff and pensions, Alleanz, was replaced by Cigna under the reign of former Brazilian director general Jose Graziano da Silva as part of savings to free up money for hiring more of his latin american cronies.
It was possibly the single most unpopular decision of his mandate and one that bizarrely his Chinese successor seems determined to continue, despite his avowed concern for staff welfare.
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