Discounting PPP mode

Union Health Minister has turned down the proposal of the State government to run six hospitals of the State in Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode for the simple reason that doing so would mean putting economically weaker sections of people to great financial hardship. The State government’s plea is those six hospitals, three in Jammu and three in Kashmir, are not running in a manner in which these should run, and hence should be given in PPP mode with free treatment to 25 % patients BPL. The fact is that ours is a backward and hilly state and a large percentage of population cannot afford the heavy cost on medical treatment in private hospitals. Experience has shown that patients from poorer segments receive scant attention in the hospitals because they are not in a position to pay for expensive medical services. The State government needs to reconsider its proposal and also keep in mind the limited financial capability of weaker sections of society in taking care of their health services. Almost everywhere governments provide medical services on subsidized financial implications. It is a requirement of a welfare state. The State government would better find a solution to the issue rather than shies away from it by believing that private sector will bale it out. The bailing out game, if at all it happens will assuredly be at the cost of the toiling masses only.