HEALTH MIMISTER RESIGNS FROM PPP PANEL

PANJIM: The Health Minister, Mr Vishwajeet Rane on Thursday resigned as the chairperson of the PPP monitoring committee, which monitors the privatisation process for new district hospital at Mapusa, after the ruling party MLA, Mr Dayanand Narvekar and the leader of the opposition, Mr Manohar Parrikar pointed out that by holding the particular post, the Health Minister has violated the guidelines of the Central Vigilance Commission.
Earlier, both the MLAs stormed into the well of the House over the alleged irregularities in the privatisation of the new district hospital for North Goa at Mapusa following which the Speaker Mr Pratapsingh Rane adjourned the House for the morning session.
During the Question Hour the opposition leader observed that the public-private partnership model for the hospital did not start with a proper procedure and said that as per the Central Vigilance Commission guidelines the Health Minister cannot be the chairman of the PPP committee.
“Furthermore, the PPP document for the hospital is not vetted by the law department,” he said, adding that everything linked to the PPP project is being done ex post facto with comments, and the PPP appraisal committee had not cleared the documents for the hospital.
The leader of the opposition also took strong objection to the Delhi address of the state health authorities, cited for holding hospital related conferences. “Have you shifted your office to Delhi,” he questioned.
Mr Parrikar alleged that the entire process is carried out, without being cleared by any agency and all the documents were prepared in a hurry.  Replying to the allegations, the Health Minister said that whatever services are being provided by the Azilo Hospital including disbursing of free medicines would be continued at the new district hospital at Mapusa.
“The government also desires to introduce medical specialities at this hospital,” he informed, observing that the whole objective behind privatising the hospital is to bring in efficiency, and refrain from taxing common man for medical services.
The Health Minister finally said the government was working out a suitable PPP model for the Mapusa hospital.
Taking strong objections to the statements made by the Health Minister on the floor of the House, the Aldona MLA, Mr Dayanand Narvekar charged that the Health Minister was misleading the MLAs with false information.
“On one hand, he provides written reply that consultant has been appointed to study various PPP models and suggest suitable PPP model including revenue generation measures, while on the other hand, an advertisement of a request for qualification has been published in a local daily pertaining to PPP for managing a 290-bed Mapusa hospital,” he added.
Later, addressing a press conference, Mr Narvekar said that in the RFQ, same medical services as available in the Azilo Hospital have been demanded from the private service provided, and there is no mention of specialised services like cardiac unit and so on. Stating that there is a ‘hidden agenda’ of the Health Minister behind privatising the particular hospital, the Aldona MLA alleged that there is a plan to hand over the hospital costing around Rs 100 crore, to a service provider whose worth is Rs 15 crore, during recent consecutive three-year period.
“I demand that the RFQ be immediately cancelled, and the Health Minister take the North Goa MLAs into confidence as regards the PPP model,” Mr Narvekar stated, pointing out that it does not matter if he is on the ruling side, as people of North Goa have already decided to come of the streets against the ongoing irregularities in this project.

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