Agartala, Sep 9 : Expressing disappointment over the decision of the state government to charge medical facilities in all the government hospitals, opposition Congress and CPI (M) threatened to launch a state-wide agitation to roll back the decision.
The former chief minister and incumbent leader of the opposition Manik Sarkar alleged that healthcare and education had been traditionally under public funding since attaining statehood of Tripura and this is for the first time BJP government-imposed charge on normal medical care. “The BJP has always favoured privatisation and to help the rich people and there is no difference. We shall not allow this thing to happen in the state, which will tax on the poor people,” Sarkar warned.
Similarly, Congress has also raised voice against the decision and said they would launch movement across the state unless the government revoke the decision. The party senior leader Subal Bhowmik alleged that the healthcare system of Tripura has gradually deteriorated over the past few months and now it has reached to almost zero.
“Initially, the government committed the people to provide the best healthcare facilities and develop the infrastructure for world-class tourism but now it has reduced to zero in all the government hospitals due to administrative mismanagement. Even the doctors and other medical staff are not happy with the decisions,” Bhowmik added.
Meanwhile, BJP spokesperson Nabendu Bhattacharjee bated the decision and said that it was the part of revamping the fragile healthcare system in a participatory manner. Since the service is free in the hospitals, the government has been facing a serious problem in ensuring quality and satisfactory services and this token amount would slap accountability on the service provider.
“If this minimum amount of money could improve the quality of service and made the health professional accountable, what is the problem? The people of the state are now also paying more than this amount in the private set up. Oppositions are unnecessarily making its an issue,” Bhattacharjee added.
Last week, the government enhanced fees for treatment including pathological tests, food served in the hospital and for accommodation in Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
According to the notification, registration fees will have to be paid at the rate of Rs 20 per Above Poverty Line (APL) patient and Rs 10 for priority group patients and in case of admission to the hospital separate fee structure has been announced. The highest hike has been effected in the rates of ICU admission and treatment fees of Rs 600 for APL patients and Rs 400 for priority group patients daily. In case infusion of oxygen is required the patients will have to pay at the rate of Rs 50 per hour.
All 23 pathological tests available in state capital's major hospitals have also been priced high while the tests such as MRI and Scan will entail much higher costs than what is charged currently. Partaking of food in the hospitals also will cost more considerably. For Histology and Sistology tests Rs 863 will have to be paid by every patient. Early this year, the government had announced out of 113 biochemical tests done in government hospitals 74 test could be done free of cost but now all these tests will entail heavy expenses. All 52 microbiological tests could be done free of cost earlier but they have been priced at Rs 1350.
Two major tests for gastro-enteric patients were done free of cost earlier but now they have been priced at Rs 2785 and Rs 5605 respectively for APL patients. Even the price of ordinary X-ray has been increased. Kidney biopsy was free of cost but now it will entail an expense of Rs 1470 while the cost of Rs 400 for a gastro-enteric biopsy which has been raised from Rs 400 to Rs 1950. The list is long and all services from now on will be priced. UNI