By Aires Rodrigues
In recent years, almost every patient I have known who has been to Manipal Hospital at Dona Paula has faced a hell of a nightmare. Most of those patients have landed up in the morgue, with their families lumbered with massive and extremely exorbitant bills. For the family of someone already going through the pain of illness, it is added agony to being financially ripped off with very inflated bills. This anguish faced by the family members is heart breaking to have to collect a dead body and paying up that huge bill landing them in a deep financial hole.
Manipal hospital seems to be lacking any Code of ethics. A concern for the well-being of the patient is never there, while they merrily secure and pursue their commercial interests.
The government ought to order an immediate inquiry into the dubious affairs at Manipal Hospital and the probe has to zero in around the main accused Dr. Shekhar Salkar who runs the commercial show there, by claiming that he is a qualified oncologist though he is not one. He neither has a degree nor even a diploma in either Oncology or Oncosurgery.
Last week my 85 year old pious gentleman and close friend from Ribandar escaped from being butchered by Dr Shekhar Salkar who was all set for another five lakh windfall to operate on my friend who had a growth on his intestine. Luckily my friend who timely smelt a rat and the doctor’s devious game plan, hastily sought discharge from the Manipal Hospital within hours of his admission there. Fortunately my friend sought immediate alternate medical advice and is keeping well after being successfully operated elsewhere.
Dr Shekhar Salkar has been grossly misusing his position as Head of Goa BJP's Medical cell to illegally and unethically rake up huge financial benefits for Manipal hospital while also enriching his own pockets. On Dr Shekhar Salkar's trail of scams at the Goa Cricket Association less said the better. But he should not be allowed to inhumanely and immorally gamble with people's lives.
There is abundant documentary evidence to the effect that the politically well-connected Dr Salkar has been unduly interfering and sabotaging the working of Government hospitals as well, only to benefit his Manipal Hospital.
Let us hope that our Health Minister Vishwajit Rane orders a prompt thorough inquiry into the blatant misdeeds and wrongdoings at the Manipal hospital. This financial exploitation of patients cannot be allowed to go on unpunished.
We also need to know as to how that building on free government land which was a Goa Cancer Society hospital landed in the soiled hands of the Manipal Hospital entrepreneurs.
Instead of going to this Manipal Hospital, a patient may be well advised to die in peace somewhere else. At least the family's life savings would not be swallowed by this proven vulture of a hospital. The family will also be saved the financial ordeal and trauma they would have to go through after losing their loved one there, at Dona Paula.