Thursday 19 April 2012

The façade of Goa’s Golden Jubilee Health Insurance Scheme

Once again mulnivasi people of Goa have been taken on dangerous ride. This time with the scheme called Swarnajayanti Aarogya Bima Yojana (Golden Jubilee Health insurance scheme). The pamphlet circulated to attract public shows one photo identity card given by Directorate of Health Services with name, age, gender and 18 digit computerized number. Now let us examine this pamphlet with which our mulnivasi people are falling prey to.

Let us examine the each word of this scheme ‘Swarnajayanti’ means golden jubilee. The golden jubilee referred here is 50 years of Goa freed from Portuguese rule and brought under the rule of India in 1961. India itself has been colony of England till 1947 when ruling power was transferred to Brahmins on. Goa government has been involved in much fun fare of celebration of Goa’s Golden jubilee of liberation mainly because after 50 years political power has come in the hands of Saraswats (who constitute miniscule minority of Goa’s population), Bamons and Brahmins who are Eurasians ruling over mulnivasis. Their rule is for exploitation, misguidance and domination over mulnivasi people. Portuguese who ruled prior to 1961 were foreigners and Saraswats who are ruling us today are foreigners. Foreigners can never be expected to have welfare of the natives on their minds. They only have their caste self interest above any other interests on their mind.

Let’s examine the second word ‘Aarogya’ means Health. Health under the constitution of India written by late Babasaheb Ambedkar is one of the important directive principles of the state policy covered under Article 47. It’s title is ‘Duty of the State to raise the level of nutrition and the standard of living and to improve public health – the state shall regard the raising of the level of nutrition and the standard of living of its people and the improvement of public health as among its primary duties and, in particular, the State shall endeavour to bring about prohibition of the consumption except for medicinal purpose of intoxicating drinks and of drugs which are injurious to health.’  Further Article 39 (e) of the Constitution of India states ‘that the health and strength of workers, men and women, and tender age of children are not abused and that citizens are not forced by economic necessity to enter a vocations unsuited to their age and strength.’  Besides established case law through State of Punjab v/s Mahinder Singh Chawla declared the right to life includes the right to health. (AIR 1997 SC 1225).

Constitutionally it is the State duty to uphold the health of its people. Private companies are not included as duty bound to play any role in upholding health of it citizens. Goa government though its earlier health minister Vishwajit Rane has gone against spirit of the constitution of India and involved private companies in this insurance scheme. The name of the private foreign company here is ICICI Lombard. It is surprising that the current health minister Laxmikant Parsekar instead of cancelling this scheme has allowed it to proceed ahead.

Lets examine the third word ‘Bima’ means insurance. Insurance by itself is not a bad idea. There is state owned insurance company called Life Insurance Company (LIC). If LIC was involved in this scheme then there was no problem because it is a state owned company and public have control over the same. But getting foreign private company into health insurance of the people of Goa is detrimental. Private citizen data is shared with a foreign company. It is charging Rs.100/- at one time collection and promised free payment of the treatment of ailment covered under this scheme up to Rs.60,000/-. The common sense login does not make any sense. If it was done by state owned company like LIC then it would have been understood but private company doing this is a matter of suspect. It is simply strengthening presence of private company in health sector which is the state bounded duty.  Moreover no list of ailments covered under the scheme is listed in the pamphlet nor is website mentioned for citizens to know list of ailments covered. This insurance is merely an insidious exercise in collection of data of all the people specially mulnivasis of the State of Goa. The state is so terrified of mulnivasis in Goa.

The last word we need to examine is ‘Yozana’ which can be translated as a ‘scheme’ or ‘plan’. In practice this is a conspiracy against the mulnivasis (SC, ST, OBC, Marathas, non-ruling minorities such as Christians, Muslims, Sikh, Buddhists etc). Yesterday’s (18th April 2012) times of India has very clearly explained the Goa government is actually involved in direct supervision of making Goa’s children sick through another government scheme called mid-day meal scheme thereby working contrary to  the article 47 and Article 39 (e) & (f) of the Constitution. When Saraswats, Brahmins, Bamons currently ruling the State of Goa are so determined to destroy health of mulnivasi people of Goa through creation of hunger, malnutrition which is part of their hidden agendas how can it he expected to safeguard the interests of mulnivasis? This scheme violates the very Preamble of the Constitution of India in which People of India solemnly resolved to constitute India into a ‘Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic’. It neither resolved to constitute into India into Capitalist or Brahmanical Republic. Yet in practice this is an agenda that is being pursued in a systematic manner. The scheme under discussion here is part of this agenda. For Socialist agenda to follow as required by the Preamble of the Constitution itself there is no need to involve private companies like ICICI Lombard. This is a negation of the Constitution of India. Health is a right that People of India are entitled to without depending upon the private companies. We have an example of one private company called East India Company coming in and then conquering the country. The state government is well aware of this, yet it went ahead with this collaboration with ICICI Lombard. This amounts to the take over of the State government by a private company. This can be possible only with the clear understanding of what is going on and never without proper efforts towards it. This means at the time of conceptualization of this tie-up Goa’s brahmanical think tank has thought over and resolved to hand over state health sector to private companies to the detriment of the mulnivasis in Goa.

In addition it is pertinent to realize that fundamental basis for health insurance given is that cost of medicines is high and it is sky rocketing every day. India’s brahmanical ruling elite itself is responsible for this scenario. Central government is controlled by Brahmins through ruling and opposition parties. Central government signed agreements with various international organizations like GATT and opened up India for foreign investment.  In order to make trade in medicine lucrative for the private companies’ government through its annual financial budgets went on giving various facilities to companies as well as increasing cost of medicines. This put the cost of medicines beyond the reach of mulnivasi people. Large number of people began to get into poverty. This situation is so dangerous that 75% India is living below poverty line. Medicines, education, employment was deliberately taken away from the mulnivasi people. Hungry people either have to die or have to rise up to revolt and overthrow Bamon raj. If people chose to die then ruling brahmanical elite have no regrets, they will let happiness and smiles cover their lives and mug up into celebrations. However it is a basic human instinct not to choose death but life even if one is pushed into hunger. Great Revolutionary from France Jean-Paul Sarte once remarked “Hunger creates history, hunger destroys history.”
This has been a deeply worrying aspect for the ruling brahmanical elites in India as well as Goa. If hungry mulnivasi people rise up the ruling Brahmins will be reduced to ashes. Their conspiracies will be exposed and laid bare public. Brahmins who are so used to lording over power will not allow this possibility to transform into a reality. They will try their level best to prevent such an unfortunate tragedy on them that will forever end their domination. They are working overtime as to avoid this. They are trying various ways, some very lethal and cruel like using government mid-day meal to poison  school children, to push mulnivasi children into poverty, hunger, frailty, stunted growth, hunger, anemia and ill health . This is an open declaration of war against Goa’s mulnivasis by Brahmanical State. Health Insurance scheme is part of this agenda. Brahmanical in India and Goa responsible for the high cost of medicine and medical treatment, for they are the once who hiked the rates. Now they are the once who are fooling us with medical insurance. Solution to the high cost of medical treatment is to lower it. Brahmins with their power have increased it. Brahmins with their power can lower it or can even give free health treatment and medicines too. Brahmanical mindset does not venture into this. Instead it is seeking to make business out of inflation via insurance by draining public resources to a private insurance company. This is unethical. This is anti-mulnivasi people. This is anti-national. This is brahmanical. This is capitalist. This is anti-constitutional.

On the other hand Directorate of health services has forged a tie up with ICICI Lombard for providing health insurance. Now let us examine how this scheme functions. Even though it is giving you smart card with just Rs.100/- and promises to cover the cost of health recovery up to the tune of Rs.60,000/-. It will have select hospitals including private hospitals on the list of this scheme. Hospital names are not made public on the circulated pamphlet. So patient will be admitted into private hospital covered under this scheme, will be treated. Either person is dead or recovers hospital bills will have to be covered by somebody. Now who is this somebody? ICICI Lombard is that somebody. This company will pay the cost of recovery of health of the smart card holders from Goa. But how economical it is for the company to do this? Besides aim of every private company is profit. How this aim will be fulfilled? It will be fulfilled recovering the money and more from the Goa government. Goa government will pay cost of treatment in private hospital to a private insurance company from the public treasury, from tax payers money. Public money will get diverted to private company.

And what is the need to list out private hospitals? This is called nexus. Nexus is connections for a specific goal. Here the specific goal is emptying of public treasury. We are yet to see the accounts of another tie up with private company that is operating 108 ambulances in Goa. We are still to know how much amount this company is charging per patient, per trip. So ambulance service to a large extend is privatized. Now it is the turn of the private health insurance through ICICI Lombard. Besides we have already witnessed process by with government hospitals are deliberately kept in bad conditions with number of avoidable shortcomings. This is done so that government hospitals get a bad name and justification for privatization builds up.  We have witnessed attempts to privatize government hospital in Mapusa failed. Nevertheless it is worthwhile to examine this to some extend. New hospital building was completed and shifting was pending. Health Minister was in negotiation with private companies and possibly also for his and his CM’s cuts. Then it was declared that this hospital will be privatized. Then Chief Minister bamon Digambar Kamat supported privatization of Asilo hospital.  Public protests took place headed by then congress MLA Dayanand Narvekar, from Bhahujan samaj. The attempt to privatize failed. Then Leader of the opposition and current Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar advocated Public Private Partnership (PPP) model for this hospital.

If this hospital was privatized then there would have been two direct fall-outs. In the first place there would have cost of admission hiked and treatment cost would have shot up and State government would have no control over it. The second more serious fallout would have been end to reservation of SC, ST, and OBC. In fact main privatization agenda is pursued in India is to end reservations for the various sections of the mulnivasi people. Reservations are valid only in government owned institutions. The enemies of mulnivasi people particularly Brahmins are busy pushing privatization agenda precisely for this reason. The spree of privation in health department is mainly to eliminate the scope of reservation and security of jobs to mulnivasis. ICICI Lombard in brought in to implement this scheme mainly for the purpose of siphoning of public money as well denying of reservation thereby clearing the ways for brahmanical agenda. This is the reason as to why ICICI Lombard’s tie up with Directorate of Health services is truly dangerous. There are no reservations in the company, it will take private data of citizens for private storage purpose which is likely to be misused as there is no legal binding for the privacy of the data collected, and it will recover amounts paid from the State treasury. In other words it will facilitate loot of state treasury. It has taken the role of middleman between the State and the citizens which must be done away with. Bharat Mukti Morcha condemns this scheme and advises Goa government to stop this scheme hostile to the interests of the mulnivasi people.
What is needed is upgrading of public hospitals and nationalization of private hospitals. There must be total state control and health as a profit venture must be avoided. Prices of medicines must be brought down and so the treatment costs. Bharat Mukti Morcha condemns central government for continues rise in price of medicines and protests against the same.

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