By: Narendra Nayak
Mangaluru, Nov 15, 2016: When Ms. Premlatha Shetty was advised tests at the Govt. Wenlcok Hospital which had to be done at a private lab, she was quite apprehensive as she was hit by the demonetization tsunami and had not much money left except notes of 500.
But, after reading in the papers that the hospitals and laboratories are taking these she ventured to get them done at SRL Diganostic lab at Falnir, Mangalore. It was certainly an ordeal for her as she had to come all the way from Kavoor getting into two auto rickshaws and a bus to reach the destination. But, when she reached there she found that they would not accept the 500 rupee notes! So, she had to scrape together whatever cash she had to pay for them. Now, she has no money and since she is unable to walk finds it difficult to go the bank too.
When the person in charge of the laboratory Dr. Vittal Shetty was contacted he told me that since his was a branch of the company they were not in a position to take their own decisions. But, he did acknowledge that they had a letter from the District health officer that they had to accept these notes. Whatever their position may be it is poor and vulnerable sections who are always at the receiving end! The same patient was also complaining that pharmacies are refusing these notes despite a directive from the same authorities.
Unless some clarity emerges on such matters the poor and the ailing will continue to suffer and the misery gets prolonged day by day.
For the Consumers Education Trust of Mangalore
Narendra Nayak- convenor