Netas profiting from faailed govt. services ?
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Netas profiting from faailed govt. services ?

For the past five days most of us were worried sick wondering what if we should fall sick. The reason — there were no doctors to treat us. The doctors were on the streets instead of in hospitals saving lives. They were busy trying to save themselves from harsh amendments to the Act that governs them.

Karnataka had an Act called Karnataka Private Nursing Home Act of 1976. In 2007, it was replaced by Karnataka Private Medical Establishments (KPME) Act to monitor private medical establishments. Now, Health Minister K.R. Ramesh Kumar wants to amend this Bill and have it passed when the law-makers meet in the ongoing session at Belagavi.

Chief Minister Siddharamaiah said,  “Government wants to amend the Act of 2007 to provide for a grievance redressal mechanism, price control and a patient’s charter. The amendments are in public interest.” Activists also say these amendments are needed.

Now we wonder why the same activists, the same government, who are making amendments to the present KPME Act based on the recommendations of Justice Vikramjit Sen don’t want to accept an important recommendation in the same report that says “Government healthcare establishments too must come under this Act.”

In fact, Justice Vikramjit Sen, in a press conference said, “We would like to make Government Hospitals too accountable. Therefore, by deleting the word private we would be able to achieve this.” The Government took the report, and conveniently let the “private” remain.

The government wants private establishments to be held accountable, but they don’t allow public institutions to be subjected to the same level of scrutiny. Also, why are the activists not going after the government hospitals for bad service? The very reason that private hospitals exist and thrive is because government hospitals are not effective.

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Simply put, when it comes to healthcare the government, instead of pulling its socks up, wants to pull the private hospitals’ pants down.

Just the fact that the government has contracted the Public Works Department (PWD) to build the new wing of K.R. Hospital at the cost of Rs. 173 crore is shocking. A department that cannot even build a good road has been given the responsibility to build a hospital that caters to over a million people! What expertise does the PWD have in building modern hospitals? None at all.

Now, be it housing, healthcare or education, most Indians have accepted that our government services are undependable and have found ways of arranging a backup. And who runs these backups…politicians.

When it comes to education, post-independence most people studied in government schools and colleges. They were good educational institutions. Today these colleges are so bad one has to choose a private option. And politicians run most of these private institutions.

When it comes to providing housing, it is shameful that private land developers have allotted more sites in the past 10 years than the government has in the last 30 years!  And who are these private developers — mostly politicians again.

All these businesses have sprouted and are thriving largely due to the government’s apathy towards government institutions. At the risk of being branded a conspiracy theorist, one has to ask — are politicians deliberately neglecting government services and institutions so that they can then provide these services privately and profit from it?

The only way to improve government services is by passing a law that mandates that government employees of all ranks and law-makers to use only government services and institutions — schools, hospitals and public transport. Perhaps then the government will appreciate what private enterprise has done for this country.

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November 18, 2017

4 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Netas profiting from faailed govt. services ?”

  1. Akhil.K says:

    There is a strong nexus between politicians, businessmen, bureaucracy, police, judiciary. This makes it difficult for anything significant to happen and help the common poor. Whenever there has been attempt to hold them accountable the attempt was either stopped or weakened. The RTI law was amended and weakened. the whistle-blower act was weakened and the very recent Lokpal bill which was actually drafted so that these corrupt could be held accountable, but even that is now in cold storage and no one even talk about it. The only way to break this nexus is by people’s vote, as a democratic country the ultimate power which citizens have is to vote, to elect the right people, but consecutive governments have purposefully kept the masses of our country uneducated and economically bankrupt so that just before election they can fill these people’s empty stomach with freebies and get votes. Its time good people come out strongly and fight these corrupt, it has grown over a period of 70 years so even if good people fail once they should not hang their boots but should fight constantly, 5 years, 10 years, 15 years we really don’t no but till the fight is on there is always a hope. Good article sir !

  2. theskywalker says:

    There was never a good public service even in early 1950s, just a few years after independence. For example, the Indian doctors who took over from the British in running government hospitals, soon discovered that private practice was a good way of getting very rich , even though they pocketed generous non-practicing allowance Their presence in the major teaching hospitals was primarily to attract more private patients and this was in collusion with the family doctors. The well-run government schools after independence began to deteriorate in their performance. as teachers too were interested in running private tutoring classes at home, their presence in the schools was mainly to attract students for private tuition. Public service funding helped their private enterprise with no expenses from their end!
    Not wanting to lag behind, and finding that merely being a mundane heads of the religions did not give them any leverage with the government, heads of prominent religions saw how private services could get them immense clout;one religion particularly, saw its head opening schools and colleges including engineering and medical colleges. Land was made available for free, construction of buildings was aided by generous public grants including the running costs of these institutions which charged hefty fees for a good period.. All in the service of people , the head of religion said said quoting the spiritual text! God made the head of religion to serve the poor people. Who could deny it? Politically, the head of this religion became so powerful that a newly elected chief minister after swearing in routinely rush to get blessing s from this head!! Why blame politicians when they can be manipulated by the head of a powerful religion?
    God has works in mysterious ways!! There is no other better use for public funds, when the God’s representative could put it to enhance private services. This argument is difficult to refute! The immense power of saffron-clothe becomes so palpable in Mysuru!!

  3. theskywalker says:

    Talking of public service, another example, not widely knowm but whispered in close circles, comes to mind. Soon after the private banks were nationalised by Mrs Gandhi, one branch manager of a nationalised bank in the busy and rich Mundi merchants quarter of a city,said to a few of his rich merchant clients one morning that he needed to replace the mysterious disappearance of a few lakhs of cash in his secure vault. before the end of the day. Those days that much cash was large. Otherwise, he said he will lose his job. This merchants bunch did not even ask the manager, how could that large amount of cash disappear from the secure vault which could be opened only by the branch manager. But, they knew the importance of public funds distribution for their private enterprises. They brought the cash needed well before the closing hour of the bank that day, and the cash was put into the vault again! Thanks to public services the banks provided to help private enterprise even in those days!!

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