Approximately two months ago, the Health Minister, Mr Vishwajeet Rane said that from the 1st of December, non-Goans coming to Goa Medical College and Hospital (GMC) would have to pay a basic registration fee for treatment. It was also mentioned that there would be a separate queue outside the OPDs for them. This was being done in order to give priority to residents of Goa who came for treatment at the GMC.
Implementation of the fee process
While it was announced on the 1st of December, the actual system wasn’t implemented until the 1st of January, 2018. The government on Monday started charging a fee to outstation patients availing treatments at Goa Medical College (GMC) and Hospital as well as at the two district hospitals and sub-district hospital in Ponda.
Out of all the patients admitted at GMC till evening, 24% were non-Goans whereas the percentage of outstation patients at out-patient departments (OPDs) stood at 19%. The registration fee at all three hospitals was raised for all patients from Monday. GMC increased their fee to Rs 100 and the district hospitals fixed the same at Rs 50.
Health minister Vishwajit Rane, said, “We have started charging outstation patients.” “Including the registration fee, collection at GMC was Rs 2.7 lakh,” he added, stating that the entire system would fall into place after some time.
Each hospital has set up separate counters for outstation patients to avoid any confusion.
According to reports from GMC, the OPD attended 55 non-Goans. There were 16 from Karnataka, 11 from Maharashtra and a few more from other states including Bihar. A total of 101 patients were admitted, of which 24 were from outside Goa. These were admitted for surgical procedures, orthopaedics, urology, general surgery and paediatric attention. There was no information from the district hospitals, according to the Health Minister.
“Some outstation patients who came as emergency cases were not charged at GMC,” said Rane. According to medical superintendent Dr Shivanand Bandekar, the casualty ward treated 54 accident cases on Monday and these patients were provided treatment free of cost as they are considered as medico-legal cases.
The government had declared that though non-Goan patients will be charged, emergency cases and the poor would be exempted.
The hospital dean and medical superintendent have been entrusted to decide in such cases. Rane also said administrations of the government hospitals, have been directed to strictly check that Goan patients availing treatment, swipe their Deen Dayal Swashtya Seva Yojna (DDSSY) card. The directive was issued as it was noticed that Goan patients availing medical facility at GMC and other district hospitals, did not swipe their DDSSY card in a bid to hoard their insurance cover amount to avail it at empanelled private hospitals.
Hospital authorities reported that there weren’t any major issue among the patients on the first day over the new fee system.