Panaji: The Goa government today announced that they will start charging nominal fee for the patients who are non-residence of the state at the government hospitals from January 1, while locals will continue getting free of cost treatment.
State Health Minister Vishwajit Rane told reporters that the state-run facilities including Goa Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) will charge nominal fee for the patients who are from outside Goa from January 1, 2018.
He said the patients from outside Goa would be charged twenty percent of the fee as prescribed in the states Deen Dayal Swastha Seva Yojana (DDSSY) charged by C category hospitals, which comes to a nominal amount.
Rane said the step was taken to ensure that the locals are given priority in these hospitals as the state government is spending crores of rupees to maintain and upkeep these facilities.
“Nearly 30-40 per cent of the patients on these hospitals arrive from outside the state, specially from Maharashtra and Karnataka. We need to provide treatment on priority to the locals,” he said.
Rane said the emergency cases would be given priority in these hospitals, even if the patient arrives from outside the state.
Also, he said, those patients who are “poor” will not be charged though they are not locals.
“The Dean of GMC and Medical Superintendents of the district hospitals have powers to exempt the poor patients from being charged in the hospital even if they are not from Goa,” he maintained.
In yet another announcement, Goa government has also made it mandatory for the local patients to provide DDSSY cards for the locals while availing free treatment facility at state run hospitals.
Rane said the state government is spending more than Rs 80 crore annually to pay the premium to the insurance company under DDSSY but the number of patients taking benefit of the scheme is less.
“When the state is paying so much for the insurance firm, the patients should start using the DDSSY cards,” he said adding the health department has already put up camps in various panchayats to enrol all the citizens of the state under this scheme.