‘Govt spent Rs 50 cr on medical bills’


 The Government of Goa has spent a whopping Rs 50.20 crore on patients referred from Goa Medical College and Hospital, for reimbursement of medical expenses incurred for treatment of major ailments in private hospitals, since April 2010.  These ailments pertain to heart diseases, cancer, dialysis and other ailments for which was not available in GMC. 
According to a reply given by the Health Minister in the assembly, 153 patients claimed reimbursement from directorate of health services in 2010-11 after undergoing treatment in private hospitals, 155 availed reimbursement in 2011-12 and 102 availed reimbursement from 2012 till first week of March 2013. 
This from the total of 1308, 1305 and 1238 cases referred by GMC to the department of Health services in 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-13 respectively. 
A majority of up to 80% of these cases are of those suffering from heart ailments, with cancers, dialysis and others comprising the remaining 20%. 
The figures highlight the need to get a fully functioning cardiac super-specialty wing at the GMC, a proposal which has been in the pipeline for quite a while now. 
Health Minister Laxmikant Parsekar has already promised to have the cardiology unit functioning by May, which would offer angiography, angioplasty and open heart surgery. 
He has already said that the unit will be headed by one Dr Guruprasad Naik. 
In the absence of this facility, patients who are referred from the GMC to other private hospitals get their expenses reimbursed through Mediclaim scheme of the Goa government. 
About 85 persons who suffered heart ailments availed of this facility in 2010, 115 in 2011 and 82 in 2012. 
Similarly 25 cancer patients availed reimbursement through Mediclaim in 2010, 19 in 2011 and 8 patients in 2012. 
The setting up of a cardiology and cancer units at GMC will help the government save 90% of the money it spends on these reimbursements. [H]