Two days after the Herald expose of "MLAs Health Bill", another shocking revelation has come to the fore. While on one hand the State has spent crores (Rs 10.30 cr to be specific) since 2012, on treatment of ministers and MLAs in the super specialty hospitality hospitals in India and abroad (including United States), the local Goans are left to fend for themselves.
Yes, true a visit to the State's premier government hospital reveals that the patients are craving for help. Patients in the medicine wards (which are full almost every day) are lying on stretchers and wheelchairs for days together. The scene was startling as the patients were put on drips and medication on stretchers and wheelchairs. When Herald questioned a patient's relative for how long they have been here, Kamala Nasnodkar said, "My husband has been here for last two days on a stretcher. The nurses and doctors say they will arrange for bed but nothing is done."
She said since GMC is the best hospital for poor people like us they have to stay. "The DDSSY card gives free treatment for just surgeries and critical illness and not regular. If the patient has dengue, malaria or anything else there is no government insurance," said Joseph Fernandes, from Loutolim, whose father has been on the stretcher since morning.
He said there is no option to go to a private hospital. Another Goan, Ratna Mashelkar said she was told by the doctors if she does not want her relative to be on a stretcher she is free to take him home or to another hospital. "My husband has a liver issue and we can’t afford treatment outside and hence we have to stay," she said. When Herald spoke to nurses and doctors they expressed helplessness.
"We can't do anything. The ward is full but we are not returning patients, we are treating them but there are no beds. What can we do?", a doctor said. While the GMC cannot be blamed for the situation, as the doctors are doing their best to give treatment with whatever resources they have, it is the government which needs to think about providing better facilities for citizens.‘GU Student Council’ election: ABVP, BJYM in straight contest
While the State spent crores for treatment of MLAs, a few crores could have been spent on creating two more medicine wards for accommodating patients. Health Minister Vishwajit Rane when contacted said he is seized of the issue but for the situation to improve it would take time. "Till the new South Goa District Hospital and the Super Speciality hospital come up the situation cannot improve," he said. When asked whether he has asked government for more funds to improve GMC infrastructure, he replied, "We take all decisions collectively."
"I am consulting Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on every issue which affects people and every decision is taken collectively. This is a government which believes in transparency," he said. Stressing on GMC, he said the GMC is loaded with patients, and all help and medication is provided to the visiting patients regularly. Proper care of the patients is taken by the doctors in GMC, he added. He said he is available for public 24x7 for their betterment in the State.