The Deen Dayal Swasthya Seva Yojana (DDSSY) was initiated by the Government of Goa to provide quality health care to all citizens, irrespective of their financial status. The DDSSY scheme was initiated in order to provide the best medical facilities to Goans in distress and a problem-free financial backup. The scheme was made cashless so that the patient’s family doesn’t experience hardship when it comes to heavy medical bills. But is it truly giving the needy cashless facility?
An investigation of the Margao Hospicio operation has revealed a nexus of government staff, employees and private hospitals unduly favouring private hospitals. The very purpose of the scheme is destroyed as the nexus is worth a cash flow of lakhs of rupees exchanged against the favour done to private hospitals.
Much as the scheme is doing well for some people, some patients, on the other hand, have been scammed in the name of referring for further treatment.
Patients at Hospicio Hospital are being referred to private hospitals which end up making a large profit thanks to hefty medical bills. In the absence of anesthesia or no availability of bed linen, patients were referred to private hospitals.
The astonishing part is that several patients who were referred to private hospitals have been asked to Pay Rs. 30,000/-or more for procedures which the hospitals ultimately claim are not covered by DDSSY.
Sources at Herald, spoke to a relative of a cardiac patient, Chandrawati Salkar, from Fatorda, who were misguided by the medical staff at Hospicio and he was forced to pay Rs. 28000/- for his ailing mother.
The relative explained that after the ECG report of his mother at Hospicio, he was informed that he had to do an angiography urgently, for which he admitted his mother in a private hospital. The angiography report showed six blocks and he was informed by the medical staff that angioplasty wouldn’t solve the issue.
The patient was told that she would have to go for a major operation for resolution and ultimately was told that angiography with angioplasty is covered in DDSSY else she will have to pay. Meanwhile, the relative was being convinced to keep the patient in their hospital for surgery and contradicted their own urgency by saying that the doctor will be available only after four days. The patient’s relative, on the other hand, refused to listen to the medical staff and he chose GMC, to get the procedure done.
The tragic part is that due to non-availability of a doctor, the patient was ultimately sent to GMC for treatment for her cardiac ailment, ultimately paying Rs. 28000/- and another Rs. 25000/-, as a deposit to the private hospital.
The relative of the patient pointed out that his mother could have just been sent to GMC, instead of wasting three days and money, when GMC itself has a great cardiac unit.
Herald quoted Medical Superintendent of Hospicio, Ira Gonsalves who said, “There is a direction from the Government that if there is a DDSSY insured patient he/she can be sent to Victor Hospital in Margao for treatment of cardiac ailments” However she informed that she will check with the Public Relations Officer of the Hospital as to why the patients are being asked for money. She also assured to inquire into the matter of whether patients who come for small orthopedic procedures are sent to private hospitals.
Sources in Hospicio have also said that patients have also been referred to private hospitals because of the deficiency of bed linen in the hospital. In another case, a patient was referred to a private hospital as there was no anesthesia available at Hospicio.
Senior staff members are alleged to be part of this nexus without which this kind of operations wouldn’t have taken place.
One of the staff even pointed to the fact that ambulances of private hospitals were stationed outside Hospicio all day and were continuously transferring patients to their hospital. For Hospicio there are two ambulances, but while one has gone for repairs the other lies idle.
Sources at Herald found out that the nexus is being run like a corporation with marketing and sales executives of Private Hospitals meeting staff of Hospicio and DDSSY staff and trying to convince them to refer patients to their hospitals.
One of the staff said “The marketing managers of private hospitals have revealed to us their annual targets over Rs. 10 crores to 12 crores by any means possible. I was offered Rs.1000/- per patient for facilitation and the higher the position, the better they have been offered and many have fallen for it”.
This nexus is only the tip of the iceberg and there’s still more to be revealed.
Source: O Heraldo