A virus can’t distinguish between old and young, rich and poor, criminal and non-criminal, BJP and Congress or any other such criteria. Naturally, with over 18 lakh cases so far in India, several ministers, ex-ministers, MLAs, MPs and many political leaders have contracted the disease along with common people like us.
Politicians under Covid-19 attack
As the daily testing rises, per day number of cases soar too. As news website ThePrint rightly points out, “August has begun on a sombre note for India’s politicians, with six of them testing positive for Covid-19 and one dying of it.” As the virus started raging across the country since May end, our politicians too started falling under its deadly spell. Leaders from both ruling and the Opposition started being infected with Covid-19 from June onwards.
As the reports of political leaders getting Covid-19 positive pour in, we see an interesting common factor among them: Almost all politicians are getting treatment for private institutions and not at government hospitals.
Politicians choose private over public
The public representatives themselves are choosing private healthcare over public healthcare facilities. But why? Does that mean the ministers themselves don’t have faith in the institutions run by their own government? Does that mean they know and accept the tragic state of infrastructure at public healthcare institutions? Or does that mean that you can afford private healthcare facilities only if you’re a politician?
Here are 5 politicians/ministers who chose private hospitals over public institutions for their Covid-19 treatment
1. Amit Shah
Shah’s name must top the list here as his hospitalisation is the latest and most glaring addition to this issue. The Union home minister has been admitted to Medanta Hospital in Gurgaon. Shah is the first member of the Union Cabinet to test positive for the disease.
True. Wonder why our Home Minister, when ill, chose not to go to AIIMS but to a private hospital in a neighbouring state. Public institutions need the patronage of the powerful if they are to inspire public confidence. https://t.co/HxVqdREura
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) August 3, 2020
Congress MP Shashi Tharoor already questioned why Shah has been admitted to a private hospital instead of a government one. Tharoor wondered why the home minister chose not to go to AIIMS in Delhi.
2. Banwarilal Purohit
Here’s another one. This time, it’s a governor. Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit is being treated for Covid-19 in Chennai’s Kauvery hospital, again a private institute. “The Governor’s condition is mild, asymptomatic and he is clinically stable,” said a Kauvery hospital official told NDTV. As per reports, 84 other Raj Bhavan personnel, mostly employees from security and fire service department had tested positive. No reports claim that even these staff were also treated at Kauvery that received Chennai’s Best Private Hospital Award from FICCI in 2016.
3. BS Yediyurappa
Third in the list is Karnataka CM Yediyurappa. Reports say after testing positive for Covid-19, the Karnataka CM has been admitted to Manipal Hospital, Old Airport Road, for observation. Dr Sudarshan Ballal, Chairman of Manipal Hospitals told The Indian Express, “Karnataka Chief Minister, BS Yediyurappa has been admitted to Manipal hospital for observation. He is doing well, is clinically stable and will be monitored closely by our team.” Established in 1991, Manipal Multi-speciality Hospital is a flagship facility of the Manipal Education and Medical Group, again a private entity.
4. Shivraj Singh Chouhan
According to reports, Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan is being treated at Chirayu Medical College and Hospital in Bhopal since July 25. He will still be lodged there as his Covid-19 test conducted on the ninth day returned positive, health officials said on Monday. A health bulletin from Chirayu Hospital said, “CM’s RT-PCR test for SARS-Cov-2 on 9th day was positive. His medical parameters are normal.” Set up in 2011, Chirayu Hospital is a private institute approved by the Medical Council of India.
5. Dhananjay Munde
We will wrap up our list with Dhananjay Munde. Maharashtra’s social justice minister Munde was discharged from Breach Candy hospital in Mumbai in June after he recovered from Covid-19. He was admitted in the hospital on June 12 after testing positive for novel coronavirus. Those who don’t know, Breach Candy Hospital is a private hospital located in Mumbai, India. One of the renowned hospitals in India, it is located in the Breach Candy area of South Mumbai, says Wikipedia.
— The Indian Express (@IndianExpress) May 28, 2020
This list can be even longer with many more names already there and several more to come. But we don’t want to drag it unnecessarily. For the issue already highlighted with these 5 names, we let people think why our elected public representatives are choosing private healthcare over the public healthcare system.
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