'Goa MLAs should be given health insurance cover'

Panaji, Aug 27 (IANS) Amid reports of crores of rupees spent on the health bills of late Goa Chief Minister late Manohar Parrikar, Leader of Opposition Digambar Kamat on Tuesday said that all MLAs should be provided with health insurance cover.

When asked at a press conference about covering lawmakers under health insurance schemes, instead of massive medical treatment bills of legislators paid directly by the state treasury, Kamat, a former Chief Minister said: "I think the legislature department should consider extending health cover".

Media reports published in local dailies last week quoting documents sourced under the Right to Information Act, had said that the state treasury incurred an expense of Rs. 5.72 crore on Parrikar's treatment. He died on March 17 after a prolonged battle with pancreatic cancer.

Parrikar had been admitted to hospitals in Goa, Mumbai, Delhi and New York for treatment over a year ever since he was diagnosed for pancreatic cancer in 2018.

Nearly Rs 2 crore had also been spent on the treatment of late Deputy Chief Minister Francis D'Souza, who also died this year following prolonged illness.

Currently, all medical treatment of MLAs and former MLAs and their kin is paid for by the state legislature department on submission of bills.

The Goa government also operates a universal health insurance scheme for all residents of the the state, which provides insurance cover of up to Rs. 2 lakh.

--IANS

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