Maharashtra: To save money for water, Latur residents postpone their surgeries

Private hospitals rubbished allegations that people were shying away from them as the cost of buying water was being passed on to patients.

Written by Manoj Dattatrye More | Latur | Updated: April 25, 2016 2:53 am
drought, marathwada, maharashtra govt, water supply, train service, water supply, irrigation and revenue, mumbai news, indian express The water crisis has hit 12,000 villages across Latur, Osmanabad, Jalna, Beed and Parbhani districts. (Express Photo)

Fifty-year-old G R Pardeshi was slated to undergo an operation at a private hospital located in the heart of Latur city. He dithered after being told that the total cost would run up to Rs 60,000. However, when he approached the government hospital in the city, doctors promised to conduct the same surgery for much less.

“I finally decided to postpone the surgery as the doctors at the private hospital told me that there was no emergency and the ailment could be managed with medication,” he said, adding that “who wants lose money in today’s worsening situation. I will better use it to buy barrels of water for my family”.

But he is not the only one who’s letting drought conditions interfere with his healthcare decisions.

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Dr Kalyani Barmade, secretary of the Indian Medical Association, said, “Patients like Pardeshi are either postponing their surgeries or are rushing to government hospital where they can get the operations done without disturbing their home budget, which has been wrecked by severe water shortage as citizens have been forced to buy water from available sources.”

Meanwhile, civic officials said that around 15,000 private borewells located across Latur city were depleting fast.

“Surgeries in private hospitals have come down by 30-50 per cent. My own hospital has seen 30 per cent drop in surgeries…People are going for surgeries in private hospitals only in case of emergencies,” added Barmade.

Data available at the Government Medical College hospital in Latur showed that the hospital saw only 3081 and 3021 minor and major surgeries during the first three months of 2014 and 2015, respectively. However, in first three months of 2016, the surgeries shot up to 3854. The figure, sources said, even took the government doctors by surprise.

“Compared to the last two years, the figures of surgeries this year so far are significant in view of the drought situation. It shows people want to hold on to their money and look for options where they can undergo surgeries at cheaper rate and save money for the future…,” said Girish Thakur, deputy dean at the government hospital.

Dean Ashok Shinde said that while water supply to the hospital from Latur Municipal Corporation was cut by 50 per cent, the surgeries had not been impacted because of help from several NGOs, who were providing water free of cost. “A major surgery doesn’t cost more than Rs 200, and a minor surgery Rs 100,” Shinde added.

Private hospitals rubbished allegations that people were shying away from them as the cost of buying water was being passed on to patients. “My hospital purchases water worth Rs 50,000 every month, but we have not hiked our rates even by one paisa,” said Dr Verma. He refused to comment about other hospitals.


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  1. K
    kulaputra kulaputra
    Apr 25, 2016 at 1:07 am
    Long range solutions like ground water conservation, re-examining crops in and around the city that suck ground water must all examined and a comprehensive water plan must be arrived at. New building should have two separate plumbing - one for recycled water (to be used for toilet and gardens and the second - drinking water for the rest. Can the centre come out with a comprehensive water policy. Banning IPL matches is not the solution let me ure you - it is the worst form of tokenism as it gives the feeling that everything is fine and people are listening when they are not and indeed are least bothered to provide long term relief
    1. M
      Apr 26, 2016 at 10:35 am
      Dams were built in Maharashtra to serve the electricty requirements and not the farmers. The natural flow of water from Koyna river was towards the Eastward Krishna River. After the Koyna Hydroelectric project started its operations the water was diverted westward because of larger Hydraulic head. This is menntioned in the report published by Madhav Gadgil in 2012. The only solution to end the water crisis is to stop the electricity production from Koyna HEP
      1. B
        May 6, 2016 at 7:17 am
        Farmers from Beed District of Maharashtra State thank Bharatiya Jain Sanghatana (BJS) for the de-silting activity which helped to store more;br/gt;BJS took the work of revival of water bodies and enhancing the capacity of water storage in 2013 and still today, it benefits the farmers in the situation of intense;br/gt;The project was based on de-silting of water bodies in drought affected area using earth moving equipment and extracted silt being transported to;br/gt;Out of the 115 water bodies which were selected for the de-silting process, many had sufficient water till recent past and this water was provided to the villages in the vicinity by;br/gt;Lakes at Dhekanmoh, Talwada, Morjalwadi, Nagtalaare are still having sufficient water which is being used by people for drinking and other purposes as well by the;br/gt;for more detials:
        1. S
          sachin singh
          Apr 27, 2016 at 5:23 pm
          hum sab ko mil kar is problem ko solve karn hoga. whatsapp per msg na bheg kar khud jamen par utrna hoga .