State opposes Centre's move to partially privatise govt hospitals

Govt hospital to give land, water, power; pvt ones to upgrade infrastructure

The state government  has rejected  the union government's move to partially privatise government hospitals in tier-2 and tier-3 districts.

The Central Health and Family Welfare Ministry and the National Institution for Transforming India  (NITI)  Ayog have  prepared a draft on the privatisation of  treament of cardiovascular, cancer and respiratory ailments  in the district hospitals of tier-2 and tier-3 districts. The draft has been forwarded to all the state governments for opinion.

According to the proposal, the hospitals in  tier-2 and tier-3  districts will be developed  under the public private partnership (PPP) model.

The primary objective is to ensure treatment for cancer (chemotherapy,  hormone therapy),  respiratory problems (emergency treatment, long-term respiratory problems and lung  diseases) and cardiovascular diseases  (emergency treatment and angioplasty).  

Government hospitals with  50 and 100 beds should enter into agreements with private hospitals for 30 years. The government hospitals should provide the land, water and electricity, while private hospitals should upgrade existing buildings, besides constructing new buildings and procuring medical equipment.

Health Ministry and NITI Ayog will fix charges for various medical services and treatments.  Beneficiaries of health policies of state and central governments can avail treatment here.

What minister says?

"The proposal is a move to help private hospitals," Health Minister K R Ramesh Kumar said in a letter to the NITI Ayog.

"Health is a fundamental right. The government should construct super-speciality hospitals on a par with private hospitals to provide treatment at affordable charges  to poor sections. The decision of partial privatisation is an anti-public move, which is highly unacceptable,"  Kumar  said in the letter.

"Karnataka government has entered into agreements with Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and Research,  Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology and Victoria Hospital  for the treatment of cancer, respiratory problems and cardiovascular diseases. Several government medical colleges too are providing treatment at highly affordable treatments,"  he pointed out.

"Though  Health Ministry and NITI Ayog  decide  charges for treatments,  over a period of time private hospitals will hike charges and there won't be any difference between government hospitals and private hospitals,"  the minister said.

"Creating a sustainable model of healthcare for all, Karnataka  will roll out Universal Health Coverage. The government isn't in a position to accept any other proposal," he said.

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