With the Opposition and civil society criticising the admission of Goan political leaders to private hospitals for Covid-19 treatment, MGP leader and former deputy chief minister Sudin Dhavalikar has offered a bizarre defence: that politicians have opted to seek treatment in private hospitals to ensure they didn’t take what was “reserved for the needy”.
Over the past few weeks, Union minister Shripad Naik, former CM Churchill Alemao and Dhavalikar himself sought treatment at private hospitals. After he tested positive for the virus, Directorate of Health Service director Jose D’Sa also opted for a private hospital, leading to criticism.
In response, Dhavalikar wrote on Facebook, “…with many patients getting admitted to government hospitals and beds getting occupied, it was not appropriate for us to utilise these beds, as the same could be used by the needy when required.”
He stated that he will not use government funds for his treatment, writing, “I also request other MLAs who may have taken or are taking treatment at private hospitals, not to burden the already cash-strapped government with their medical expenses.”
Meanwhile, state Health Minister Vishwajit Rane said the “government can’t intervene in person’s individual choice”.
The government has been showcasing the state-run Goa Medical College hospital and ESI hospital as Covid facilities. D’Sa himself would frequently assure Goans of the “good public infrastructure” he oversaw at ESI hospital.
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