C'garh: Minister objects to govt's plan to give grants to pvt sector to set up hospitals

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Raipur, Jun 29 (PTI) Chhattisgarh Health Minister T S Singh Deo on Tuesday expressed dissatisfaction over the state government's decision to provide grants to the private sector to set up hospitals in rural areas of the state, citing that the move was against the concept of free healthcare.

The state government, in a statement on Saturday, said Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has 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. Speaking to PTI, Singh Deo said, “A discussion in this regard has not been held with me so far and I came to know about it through media. I am assuming that it must be a proposal as no discussions have been held at the cabinet level in this connection,' he said.

Baghel had said in the statement that cooperation of the private sector will be taken to make services of specialist doctors available in rural areas, expand health services in government hospitals and develop the health infrastructure.

“I have been in favour of a universal healthcare scheme since the beginning. The Congress had mentioned '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 health minister said.

“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,” Singh Deo said.

If public money is given to the private sector, which will again take money from citizens, then this policy is not appropriate at all, he added. PTI COR ARU ARU

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