Health Minister Vishwajit Rane, speaking to a local daily claimed that people of Goa are the real VIP’s and not the politicians. These statements come after the government, including certain bureaucrats, opted for private hospitals for treatment once they were infected with coronavirus, while the ordinary citizens of the state were referred to the state-run ESI and Goa Medical College and Hospital for treatments.
He was quoted saying, “People of Goa are very important to the government they are VIPs and not us politicians.”
The government was at the receiving end of criticism after several political leaders, including Union AYUSH minister Shripad Naik were admitted at a private hospital for treatment after contracting the virus. Furthermore, special doctors from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi also made two visits to the state, to look into the medial condition of the Union minister.
However, Health minister, reacting to this cited that the doctors even visited other facilities at GMC wards and ESI hospital and gave vital suggestions. The larger question however many have been asking is the preferential treatment political leaders – irrespective of party affiliation – receive, all at the cost of the state’s treasury.
However, MGP MLA Sudin Dhavalikar, admitted at a private hospital defended his decision saying that he got himself admitted to a private hospital for treatment of covid-19 as he felt it was ‘inappropriate for us (he and his family) to utilise these beds (government facilities) as same could be used by needy when required.’
However, several instances of delays in test results – which now have substantially reduced – inadequate facilities at care centres and delay in allotment of new hospitals for covid management have only brought to light the reality of the situation on the ground – which one would argue, goes in contrary to the health minister’s claims.
Goa has been reporting a continuous spike in numbers since the last week, with Chief Minister Pramod Sawant saying that these numbers have increased after Ganesh Chaturthi, adding that people flouted social distancing norms.
With majority of the deaths being among patients who have co-morbid conditions, the health minister said that the state is in the process of revamping the COVID-19 hospital. Several new machines, approved by the cabinet will be put in place at the hospital.
Health minister, hitting back at the opposition said that they always like to find issues. “The Opposition always like to find issues, let them find some better issues,” he said.
Goa currently has crossed the 17,000 mark of total confirmed cases, with 183 deaths reported till date.