The shifting of director of health services Dr Jose D’Sa to a city-based private hospital after he tested positive for COVID-19 infection on Thursday drew strong criticism from Opposition parties as well as general public, who raised questions on the health infrastructure set up by the government for treatment of COVID patients.
Dr D’Sa has been at the forefront in the state’s battle against the coronavirus pandemic since the first case of the deadly virus was recorded in Goa.
He got himself tested after developing cough and fever.
The government has now decided to test the doctors working at various government health centres around the state.
Opposition leader Digambar Kamat in his Twitter message stated that as the health services director himself gets admitted to a private hospital after testing positive for COVID, the preparedness of the state government on handling and management of the pandemic and public healthcare stands completely exposed.
“Now, I can only pray to God for wellbeing of all,” he stated.
Incidentally, after the ESI COVID Hospital in Margao failed to check the deaths of co-morbid COVID patients, the government had opened up three special wards with 85 beds at the Goa Medical College and Hospital, Bambolim earlier this week to treat critically ill patients.
A team of five to six doctors and nurses have also been deployed in these wards to provide focused and round-the-clock attention to COVID patients with co-morbidities.
The government also planned to shift the operations of Hospicio Hospital in Margao to the new South Goa District Hospital to use the Hospicio building as a COVID facility for pre-natal and ante-natal activities.
Independent MLA Rohan Khaunte stated that the health authorities of the state government, which have set up COVID related treatment facilities, are themselves not sure of the success of these facilities.
“This has resulted in the VIP COVID patients being admitted in private hospitals, while common man are left to die in the government facilities, with his co-morbidity cited as the reason for his death,” Khaunte remarked, taking strong objection to the unequal treatment given to the classes and masses.
Shiv Sena Goa chief Jitesh Kamat in his tweet said the admission of the health services director to a private hospital on becoming COVID positive confirms the failure of the government to check COVID fatalities due to lack of medical facilities for patients.
People also reacted sharply to the hospitalisation of Dr D’Sa in a private healthcare facility; some of them stated that the bills of politicians and top government employees admitted to the particular private hospital would be passed on to taxpayers, whose lives matter little to the government.