NEW DELHI: Debate in the Lok Sabha kickstarted by Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on Sustainable Development Goals specifically on way forward for the healthcare and well being witnessed verbal clashes on Thursday.
While members mostly talked about shortage of doctors and health facilities, a BJP minister and a TMC member verbally attack over each other over state of hospitals in West Bengal. Earlier, while kickstarting the debate Speaker Sumitra Mahajan remarked that she was expecting a positive debate on the issue.
During the debate, TMC member Saugata Roy talked about free facilities being extended by certain hospitals in West Bengal being ruled by his party. When Union minister Babul Supriyo made some remarks at this, Roy said he was a ‘flying visitor’ to the state as he mostly remained in Mumbai.
Supriyo hit back saying being a bird gives him a ‘bird's eye view’ of the goings-on in West Bengal.
Thereafter, taking a dig, Roy said since the union minister has lost all seven assembly seats in his Lok Sabha constituency, as well as the corporation wards, he is a little jittery.
“I agree that I have lost all assembly seats. I am a politician. Even if I don't win, I give a good fight,” Supriyo replied.
BJP member Anurag Thakur was first to speak and he said that the country don't have adequate doctors or healthcare centres. “We have the highest number of deaths due to road accidents. Out of the top 20 polluted cities, almost half of them are in India. Pollution in air and water have killed scores in the country. We should ensure citizens get pure water, air and two-square meals everydays,” he said.
Speaking about poor state of healthcare facilities, Thakur said India is lagging behind in parameters like life expectancy, maternal mortality rate and infant mortality rate, not just among BRICS but also some African nations. “We may have better GDP than Bangladesh but the country is way ahead of us in terms of healthcare,” he said.
Anurag Thakur concluded his speech saying doctors must be respected not beaten up while referring to the recent violence in Maharashtra.
During the debate, when Adhir Ranjan Chaudhury of Congress had also said some doctors have become indifferent to people’s plight, TMC member Ratna De Nag said not all doctors are bad. On another occasion too, when Chaudhury was complaining that some doctors are involved in private practice, she said they have been allowed to do so.
Earlier, when the House started the discussion, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said it should be limited to the health sector. She recalled that the United Nations had in 2000 chalked out millennium development goals. These were rechristened as sustainable development goals with 17 targets which have to be achieved by 2030.