The Rs 5 lakh health insurance for 10 crore of the country’s poor population announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the 2018 Union Budget is modelled on Goa’s Deendayal Swastha Seva Yojana (DSSY), chief minister Manohar Parrikar said on Tuesday, adding that he is proud the PM took a cue from the facility in Goa.

“Last year, around 14,000 procedures were carried out in private hospitals under DSSY. I am happy that the central government has picked up this scheme from Goa and is giving 10 crore families upto Rs 5 lakh medical insurance,” the CM said. He added that private hospitals were roped into the state health insurance scheme with the aim of reducing the burden on government facilities.

Parrikar said though the government’s decision to start charging non-Goan patients for certain services at Goa Medical College and Hospital was criticised, it is a proof of the good services at GMC that despite the charges the number of patients coming to the facility had not gone down.

“There was a controversy some time ago that we are charging non-Goans. This is not for all services, certainly not for emergency services. They are charged only 20 percent on certain services. Due to this, we have already started collecting Rs 30-40 lakh in a month. But the pressure on the hospital has come down only by four to five percent. This means those patients who are financially well off are still coming to the hospital. It is a small amount for them,” said Parrikar.

He said taking the decision to charge had become vital due to heavy load of patients GMC receives and the complaints about people not getting access to GMC’s services.

The chief minister said GMC is on par with private healthcare in many ways and the only issue he comes across is complaints from patients on lack of communication to them from doctors and nurses.

“Both doctors and nurses require training to improve their communication skills,” Parrikar said, adding that often complaints are not about the treatment received, but about a surgery being postponed and the reason not being communicated to the patient. “Otherwise it is one of the best hospitals,” Parrikar said. – TOI 

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