Chhattisgarh health minister has doubts on CM’s announcement on pvt sector role
TS Singh Deo’s remarks come days after Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel asked the industries department to draft an action plan to see how the private sector can be provided grants to set up hospitals in the state.
Raipur: Chhattisgarh health minister T S Singh Deo on Tuesday struck a discordant note on the government’s announcement of a plan to provide grants to the private sector to open hospitals in rural areas of the state, saying he only heard about the reported move through the media.
“If you are promoting private doctors funded by the government, who are again going to charge people for treatment, it will be against the concept of free healthcare. If they are funded by the government and they are working without charging people, then there is no objection in giving them grants,” the health minister said, according to news agency Press Trust of India.
Singh Deo’s remarks come days after chief minister Bhupesh Baghel directed officials to seek the support of the private sector to strengthen health infrastructure in rural areas and has asked the industries department to draft an action plan to see how the private sector can be provided grants to set up hospitals. In Saturday’s statement, Baghel spoke about taking help from the private sector to make services of specialist doctors available in rural areas.
Singh Deo said: “A discussion in this regard has not been held with me so far and I came to know about it through the media. I am assuming that it must be a proposal as no discussions have been held at the cabinet level in this connection”.
The minister said he was in favour of the universal healthcare scheme right from the beginning and recalled the Congress had referred to ‘right to health’ in its manifesto for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. “Chhattisgarh’s Congress unit and the AICC also spoke about introducing a universal healthcare scheme in 2018 state Assembly polls and 2019 Lok Sabha elections,” the minister said.
Activists have also questioned the decision of the state government while the opposition claimed that the state government is not taking the decision ‘unanimously’ and infighting is clearly visible.
“Providing health services to the public is the responsibility of a welfare state and the right to get these services is a constitutional right. To provide health services to the people is the only way is to strengthen the public health system ..The state government’s decision to privatize health services is in stark contrast to the concept of a welfare state,” said Alok Shukla, convener of Chhattisgarh Bachao Andolan.
Former Chief Minister and BJP leader Raman Singh said Singh Deo’s public statement reveals the infighting that is going on in the Congress.