Addressing a press conference in Panaji, state Congress president Girish Chodankar also said that the state government had procured hundreds of ventilators, many of which were handed over to private hospitals free of cost to handle Covid-19 patients, which were in turn charging exorbitant fees from patients for ventilator services during treatment for coronavirus.
“For the last several days Union AYUSH Minister Shripad Naik is taking treatment in a private hospital. The Goa government and central government has not issued a health bulletin. Shripad Naik is a public servant and a Union minister. Information about his health should be released to the people. We demand the state and central governments issue a health bulletin with details of Naik’s health immediately,” Chodankar said, adding that the central and state governments were creating an air of secrecy about Naik’s health.
Chodankar also questioned why private hospitals in the state were charging exorbitant fees from Covid-19 patients for ventilator services, especially when many ventilators were donated to these hospitals by the state Health Ministry for treatment of Covid patients.
“Many ventilators which have been bought by the government, were given to private hospitals recently for treatment of Covid patients. Why are patients being charged for ventilator services then? The government should come clear on this,” he said, adding that even blood plasma units had been provided by the Goa Health Ministry to private hospitals, while at the same time there was shortage of blood plasma in designated government facilities for Covid treatment.
“Plasma which is used to cure Covid patients is not available in government hospitals, but it is available in private hospitals. The government should ensure that plasma is available in government hospitals,” Chodankar also said.
The Congress also demanded fixing a ceiling on prices levied on Covid-19 patients by private hospitals.
On Monday, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant had hinted at controlling prices for treatment of Covid-19 patients, saying a meeting will be held soon to decide on this.