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Vishwajit sticks to guns says outstation patients must pay

Panaji: Health minister Vishwajit Rane on Tuesday ruled out offering free healthcare to outstation patients of any region.

"I'm the health minister of Goa, not of Maharashtra," Rane said, when asked if he would consider the recent representation by BJP district president Pramod Jathar, seeking exemption for the people of Sindhudurg availing treatment at Goa Medical College and Hospital (GMC), Bambolim.

The Goa government plans to charge outstation patients availing services in the GMC from December 1. A representation led by former BJP MLA Jathar, met chief minister Manohar Parrikar last month and sought an exemption. Rane said he met no one, nor did he receive any request to extend free medical services to any district of Maharashtra.

"As health minister of Goa, I have to first ensure welfare of people of the state," he said, even as he reiterated that cases requiring emergency treatment would not be charged.

Rane said that if Goans had to wait long periods just to avail treatment, the state's medical insurance scheme, Deen Dayal Swashtya Seva Yojana (DDSSY), would have no meaning. Currently, 25-30% of those receiving treatment at the premier medical institution comprise outstation patients.

When asked if charges for treatment would be 30% of the cost of DDSSY, the health minister said rates are yet to be finalised and would be reasonable. Although a member of the committee headed by joint secretary (health) Sunil Masurkar, had told REPORTERS on Sunday that the panel had submitted its report to the government in the matter, Rane said he hadn't yet received the file.


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Source: Vishwajit sticks to guns says outstation patients must pay

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