Tripura Congress chief demands all-party meeting on fee hike issue

Tripura Congress chief demands all-party meeting on fee hike issue

Agency News

Agartala, Sep 10: Tripura Pradesh Congress Committee president and royal scion Pradyot Kishore Debbarman demanded the government to convene all-party meeting following the massive protest against abrupt hike of fees of health services in government hospitals.

He maintained that the decision has increased woes of the common people. “Instead of ensuring quality health care, the government is denying basic health care service to the people of the state. I demand an all-party discussion on how to ensure best quality health service,” Pradyot stated adding that it was nothing but an extension of the fragile healthcare system of the previous government.

"We should be upgrading the system and making sure medicines, doctors are available round the clock instead of simply putting a fee on the poor patients without improving quality of service and adequate facilities", he suggested. Healthcare under government should be obligatory to the citizens of the state, he said appealing the govt to listen to the voices of opposition respecting the democratic governance, Debbarman added.

Both CPI (M) and Congress have been protesting against the decision for past two days seeking rollback of the decision and withdraw the notification of Health and Family Welfare department, which had last week revised the tariff for all services under like private healthcare services including Intensive Care Unit (ICU), cabin charges, oxygen cylinders, diagnoses and diet that were previously provided at free of cost.
The CPI (M) leader and former Member of Parliament Shankar Prasad Datta alleged that BJP-IPFT government had declared war against common people since inception. To counter the argument of the opposition, minster for education Ratan Lal Nath argued that upcoming facilities for heart treatment in the newly constructed super-speciality block within the premise of IGM hospital.
Nath said that very soon heart patients of the state will not require hospitalization outside the state at heavy expenses as altogether twelve super-speciality cardiac doctors and cardiothoracic surgeons will join the state's health service in the super-speciality block.

“'We have nearly completed the infrastructural network of GBP hospital and now we aim to launch super-specialty heart treatment facilities in the newly constructed block of IGM hospital; altogether twelve cardiac specialists including surgeons will join the super-specialty block,” he added. He justified the recent fee structure announced by the state government for services in GBP and IGM hospitals, saying the fees earned from this will be spent for the welfare of poor patients in rural and hilly areas.

He said that treatment altogether 108 primary health centres, 22 community health centres, five urban primary health centre1120 sub-centres will continue to provide free service as before. All these centres for treatment down to the lowest level will now have doctors posted,
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 affected 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 micro-biological tests could be done free of cost earlier but they have been priced at Rs 1350. UNI