The new South Goa District hospital, built at a cost of Rs 450 crore, has found itself between the battle lines multiple times for various reasons – primarily due to delays in completion of the project. The Health Minister, Vishwajit Rane claimed that the entire hospital will be the function from September 1 onwards.
However, several eye-brows have been raised for the entire project, as it has come to light that the top two floors of the hospital building have been left not utilized.
The Congress party alleged that the Health Minister Vishwajit Rane has a hidden agenda to privatize the South Goa District Hospital.
Goa Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) president Girish Chodankar said, “The Health Minister while admitting that all hospitals including private hospitals serving COVID patients are full, has maintained a conspicuous silence on making the South Goa District Hospital fully functional.”
The entire south Goa and even parts of neighboring Karwar heavily depend on this south district hospital for treatments of various medical conditions. Furthermore, medical emergencies are primarily referred to here, before transferring patients to the Goa Medical College in Bambolim.
Privatization of the hospital will take away the entire purpose of a district hospital, which is meant to provide the people with affordable medical treatment, many have said.
Goa Forward Party (GFP) leader Vijay Sardesai demanded a categorical statement from the Health Minister that no private party will be associated with the hospital in any way. The MLA has written to the health minister on the issue of the utilization of available space and infrastructure at South Goa District Hospital.
“In these circumstances, it is totally criminal to keep two entire floors of the South Goa District Hospital out of the purview of COVID care infrastructure, especially when the common Goenkar desperately needs such facilities to survive this pandemic. In any case, this hospital was meant to be a full-fledged 800-bedded district hospital, and was planned to keep in mind the future requirements of entire South Goa, which it was meant to cater to,” Vijay reminded.
Opposition leader Digambar Kamat has also asked the government to make the entire hospital operational by ‘utilizing every space available in the complex.’
The state government has however not announced any steps of privatisation of the top two floors of the hospital section. It is yet to ascertain why the top two floors – if made functional will be an 800-bedded hospital – are not made operational. The entire operation from old Hospicio hospital has been shifted to the new hospital, as the former is converted into a Covid facility.