GoaChronicle.com brings you this shocking expose highlighted in the Comptroller Auditor General (CAG) Report Goa 2010 on how the Directorate of Health Services continues to run the Leprosy hospital with diminishing patients but escalating costs on staff and maintenance…
Goa has an old Leprosy Hospital established under the Portuguese rule situated at the Mac asana Village in South Goa. The hospital initially had a capacity of 150 beds which has reduced over the years. Between 2005-06 and 2009-10, the number of patients has reduced from sixteen to seven.
CAG report reveals that no new patients have been admitted into the hospital since 2005-06. The admission of new patients for isolation was not felt to be necessary due to the effective new drug regime (multi-drug therapy) which is a 100 percent domiciliary treatment.
The hospital is situated on 35 acres of land and the existing buildings are in an extremely dilapidated state. Some of the buildings have even collapsed.
More Staff, Fewer Patients
However while it is important to note that with new drug therapies being introduced through the field of medicine to cure disease such as Leprosy and the patients have considerably decreased from 16 in 2005-06, 13 in 2006-07, 10 in 2008-09, 7 in 2009-10 in a span of five years, strangely enough the intake of staff has increased and continues to increase. While the staff in 2005-06 was 28 it subsequently increased to 29 in 2007-08 and finally 30 in 2008-09 to cater to only 7 seven patients, making at a staff to patient of 4:1, which is indeed strange.
Money Expenses, Fewer Patients
In 2005-06 when the Leprosy hospital had 16 patients the cost for running this hospital operation was Rs 36.14 lakhs. In 2006-07 when the hospital saw a drop in patients from 16 to 13 in 2006-07 the expenses increased to Rs 39.34 lakhs. When the patient numbers remained the same in the year 2007-08 at 13, the expenses for running the hospital shot up by over 7 lakhs to Rs 47.72 lakhs. In the 2008-09 when the patients in the hospital further reduced to 10 the cost further escalated to Rs 58.28 lakhs. And in 2009-10 when the patient number was reduced to only seven the cost stood a huge increase over Rs 17 lakhs to Rs 75.19 lakhs.
It is learnt that the Health Officer, Primary Health Centre (PHC), Curtorim who was holding the administrative charge of the Leprosy Hospital, forwarded a proposal in July 2010 for shifting the existing patients to the vacant staff quarters in the PHC, Curtorim. Though the Directorate of Health Services stated in August 2010 that these patients could be brought to mainstream of the society, the state department has not taken any decision to rehabilitate the patients.
While it is strange that a hospital be perched on a 35 acre of land, wherein now that the Directorate of Health Services is contemplating to shift the patients to a PHC quarters, the state department of health is not keen to develop further medical services on the land which is lying vacant and its building are in a dilapidated condition. What is even more surprising is that the cost of running the operation of the leprosy hospital only increases while the patients reduce. Some can argue that it could on account of inflation, but if the patient numbers reduce to more than half the number in a span of five years, it is strange that cost more than doubles in the same span of years from Rs 36.14 lakhs to Rs 75.19 lakhs.