Panaji : For years, patients from the Konkan belt in Maharashtra and Karwar in Kartanaka used to be treated for free at the Goa Medical College and Hospital (GMC) and other state-run hospitals. But from December onwards, the Goa government has decided to charge fees for consumables from patients who do not have five year residency in Goa.

“We just can’t afford to give super speciality treatments like angioplasty and angiography free of cost to non-Goans. Waiting period for treatment also go up due to large number of patients coming to Goa from Sawantwadi and Karwar, which causes lot of inconvenience to the natives,” health minister, Vishwajit Rane said.

However, Rane clarified that the medical superintendents and heads of departments would be given powers to exempt the poor or the labour class from paying for the treatment.

“In order to keep track of how many free treatment were given to patients, such cases need to be registered or noted with the department,” the minister said.

A panel has been given the responsibility to decide the fee structure by October 25.

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