Saturday, February 14, 2009

Should healthcare in Goa be chargeable for non-Goans?

The above question has been thrown up some weeks back. The government as reported is doing a study on a Supreme court order on the issue.

As we can see very amply, government sponsored free healthcare is currently used in full measure by the migrant community in Goa. Both the Hospicio in Margao and the Goa Medical College in Panjim is full of them, thereby burdening the state and its health resources. One hardly sees  Goans availing the benefits of free healthcare in Goa, compared to the migrant population.

Part of the reason is the government hospitals in Goa lack proper hygiene and the hospitals are in dire straits in terms of linen and equipment which has kept most Goans away, patronising the private clinics and hospitals.

Barring the gadgets  such as scan machines, X-ray machines, etc and very good experienced doctors, these hospitals have nothing else to boast about. And currently while Goans are shying away, the rest of the Indian community is making best use of the equipment and the doctors.

While I dont think the government is planning to charge fees for resident non-goans it may be a good move to charge non-goans who come to Goa only to avail the benefits of healthcare and then return back to their home state, thereby not adding to our depleting resources but actually draining them.

However emergencies such as accidents or any other exigencies would be above this bar and should be attended immediately without being charged irrespective of where the person is from. Humanity comes above everything.

If there is a proper check and efficient measures are taken to ensure proper fund management and proper hygiene, these hospitals will once again return to their former prestigious glory in the hearts and minds of Goans thereby ensuring better utilisation of the resources for Goans and maintaining a good civic balance as well.

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