Panaji, Feb 13 (PTI) Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar today said that the government’s decision to charge patients from outside the state at state-run hospitals had resulted in a drop of only four to five per cent in the number of such patients.

Parrikar said that the move had not impacted much, adding that there was no charge on emergency facilities for non-Goan patients.

Beginning January 1 this year, the state government had starting charging a nominal fee from patients from outside Goa. This, the government had said, was to cut down on the load on government-run facilities like the Goa Medical College and Hospital.

“We have started earning a revenue of Rs 30-40 lakh after this decision. Non-goan patients who can financially afford treatment are still coming to hospitals in Goa. It was done to reduce the pressure on facilities as people were complaining that they were not getting proper services,” he said.

Parrikar was addressing a gathering after laying the foundation stone for a super speciality block at the Goa Medical College and Hospital at a cost of Rs 350 crore, which would include a 500-bed hospital.

The project is being implemented under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Surakhsha Yojana under which the Central government will fund 75 per cent of the budget, while the state will have to invest 25 per cent.

“The project was approved in the year 2014 but was kept on the backburner due to some issues which were sorted out after I returned as CM last year,” Parrikar told the crowd.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.