In a final series of changing decisions, the CM Pramod Sawant has declared that the treatment for COVID19 will no longer be included under the Deen Dayal Swasthya Sewa Yojana (DDSSY), which is the state’s cashless health scheme. The government has “been making all the required facilities available to the common man.”
The decision to include COVID treatment in DDSSY was taken at the beginning of the pandemic, in March, as the state did not have the required facilities to care for the growing number of patients.
“Subsequently, however, sufficient infrastructure required for a Covid patient was made available by us. Four hospitals with approximately 1,000 beds were also readied. When we are providing better facilities than private hospitals and there is no shortage of beds, there is no need to cover Covid-19 under DDSSY. Only patients requiring private rooms and similar facilities may go to private hospitals.”
Ironically, a good number of politicians infected by COVID-19, notably Union Ayush Minister Shripad Naik and director of health services Dr. Jose D’Sa preferred to admit themselves into private hospitals.
As such, the notification issued last week enabled patients to avail of subsidized treatment from certain private hospitals. However, the notification was canceled in a frenzy just three days later.
The state government took the move after they faced opposition from the private hospitals over the cover provided by the state. Health minister Vishwajit Rane stated that this was done after the consultation of CM Pramod Sawant as the “notification does not make any sense and it has to be canceled and a fresh notification has to be issued.”
With regard to the inconsistencies in the rates for COVID treatment under the DDSSY and fees charged by the private hospitals, Sawant said that “the government will look into the matter.” The prices fixed for the private hospitals were much lower than what the government hospitals were charging.
Why is the treatment for COVID being removed from the DDSSY? Sawant said that the file was moved 7 months ago and the situations have changed a lot since then.
This move has been made during such times where Goa is falling short of essential medical facilities like ventilators and supplemental oxygen, all hospitals are now out of beds to house Covid patients.