RAIPUR: Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel and health minister have been at odds over the state government's move to promote private healthcare in rural areas.
On June 26, Baghel decided to offer grant to the specialist health professionals to set up their proiate nursing homes to offer health services in the villages of Chhattisgarh. He said that there are no provisions from the health department to encourage establishing of hospitals by private players they way industries can.
"There is a need to strengthen the health infrastructure and services with specialist doctors deployed in the rural belts of Chhattisgarh and the government will offer the grant for the same," the chief minister said while directing the industrial department to prepare an action plan within ten days.
The state health minister has expressed his objection to any such proposal. "Neither this plan was discussed with me nor am I in favour of this decision. When the state has inadequate financial resources, giving away funds to private sector that will further charge the poor for treatment is something beyond my comprehension," TS Singhdeo said.
The health minister demanded to know "which specialist doctor will be eager to work in far-flung districts like Sukma or Bijapur when they are unwilling to leave Raipur."
“I fail to understand in what context such a decision was taken but I don’t agree with it,” he said .
The opposition BJP took a dig at the ruling Congress government following the contradiction emerging between the CM and the health minister. “When there is no unanimous system of governance in place then how could one expect the health sector to grow in Chhattisgarh,” asked Raman Singh, former chief minister.
Recently, the decision of the chief minister to reshuffle district in-charge ministers caught the attention of many political observers who felt the move had evidently cut down the status of health, panchayat and rural development. Singhdeo who was initially in-charge of 12 Assembly constituencies is now left with only five.