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Sunday, March 05, 2006

Corruption in the Goa Medical College

I've always admired people who've decided to stand up for what's right, who've decided to sacrifice their time and privacy to fight the good fight. Well recently I've seen another side to the issue, apparently people actually enjoy the limelight that goes with any fight at all.

Recently a relative of my mom's was operated on in the Goa Medical College (GMC) and my dad found out that a flourishing network was in place to milk the government of a lot of money. Since treatment is all paid for by the Government, whenever a poor patient came in with broken bones etc., certain plates were ordered from certain dealers with the right connections. These dealers tried to pass of an Indian plate as an imported one to my dad and they've probably gotten away with the same many times before. Apparently the doctor involved gives the patient the mobile no. of a dealer who had a man in the hospital itself. This man takes an advance and brings back 4 plates of diff sizes. The doctor picks the size he wants and the rest are taken back by the dealer. In my cousins case he needed size no 4,which the doctor must have known. However the doctor just told him to get a certain type of plate. The dealer asked whether he would be interested in imported plates. When he received an affirmative answer te dealer brought 3 imported plates, but the 4th plate.. the one of the correct size was Indian. They were planning to charge the patient the rates for the imported plates but would use the India one. And they would have gotten away with it if my dad hadn't caught them.

I'm proud of my dad's actions. Though the dealers and the doctors are backed by Manohar Parrikar, the ex-chief minister and current head of the BJP, my dad has gone ahead and filed a written complaint as asked by the Dean of the GMC. Apparently his complaint is by no means the only one received and infact the other complaints are much graver. Still I appreciate my dad's actions, though I think i'd have appreciated them still more if he wasn't enjoying the publicity and the limelight quite so much. Its made me think a lot more about my old perception of the 'do-gooder', the fighter against corruption.
I suppose I ought to be pleased my dad is getting something out of all this in exchange for all the time, energy and petrol he's sunk into the matter. The telephone bills he's racked up calling up people to 'discuss' (i.e. brag about) the matter are another issue altogether.