Panaji: From January 1, outstation patients from the neighbouring districts in Maharashtra and Karnataka will have to pay for treatment in state-owned hospitals here, Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Saturday. “We are primarily responsible for Goans, and will take care of them. The charges are very minimal,” Mr. Parrikar said. The outstation patients, however, will not be charged for emergency services. “The charges will be for very specific procedures which do not require immediate attention. These are fixed procedures for which only 20 per cent of the package charged is being levied,” Chief Minister said. Non-Goan patients will also be charged ₹50 per bed, per day in the four major government hospitals. On Friday, Health Minister Vishwajit Rane had said that a health card issued by the state government will be used for identifying locals and non-locals. Reiterating that, Mr. Parrikar said, “You should have a card… That card is issued after proper identity and Aadhar card is linked with it. So automatically, one who has a card he gets a priority.”Meanwhile, the Goa state committee of All India Trade Union Congress(AITUC) issued a press statement opposing the decision to charge fees. “The argument of the Health Minister that nearly 30 to 40% patients are from outside the state for treatment in State-run hospitals cannot be accepted. Every citizen of this country is guaranteed health care facilities and the same is enshrined in the constitution of India. It is the responsibility of every government to provide proper health care facilities to its citizens and Article 21 provides for right to life,” said a press note issued by Advocate Suhas Naik, secretary, AITUC, Goa.