To expand health services in rural areas, the State government has planned to establish 100 new primary health centres (PHCs) across Karnataka this year, Minister for Medical Education and Health K. Sudhakar has said.
“All the PHCs will be upgraded into 24/7 facilities with full-fledged staff to offer better healthcare facilities. The aim of the government is to build a robust healthcare system in the State by concentrating on primary and secondary healthcare instead of tertiary care,” Dr. Sudhakar stated.
Speaking after inaugurating the Kalaburagi regional centre of Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGUHS) here on Sunday, Dr. Sudhakar said that the government is revitalising the health sector to address the medical emergency in rural areas. Besides establishing new PHCs, the government is also focusing on upgrading the existing PHCs and on assigning more doctors to provide effective healthcare to rural people.
To address the dearth of doctors at government medical facilities in rural areas, the government had recently issued special rules for the direct recruitment of 2158 doctors, including specialists, medical officers, duty medical officers, and dental health officers. The government has also introduced a compulsory rural service scheme for medical graduates and postgraduates from the current year. After completion of their course, they will be posted in rural areas for a minimum period of one year.
He also added that the Union government’s Budget outlay for healthcare has been increased by 137%.
“The outlay in the 2020-21 Union Budget for the health sector was ₹94,452 crore and it has been increased to ₹2,23,846 crore in the 2021-22 Budget.” he said.
Dr. Sudhakar also announced that the State government would establish four new medical colleges at Chikkamagaluru, Chickballapur, Haveri, and Yadgir.
“With this, we will have 21 government medical colleges in the State. All the 21 government medical colleges will be upgraded as per the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) standards,” he reiterated.
Referring to recent developments with the Centre preferring Hubballi-Dharwad over Kalaburagi for establishing an AIIMS, Dr. Sudhakar tried to convince the people of the reason for the change.
The Minister also appealed to all healthcare and frontline workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Over 1.08 crore people have been vaccinated across the country in the last 35 days. In Karnataka, around 6 lakh healthworkers and frontline workers received the vaccine.
Dr. Sudhakar also lauded the efforts by the then RGUHS senate and syndicate member H. Veerabharappa, former Medical Education Minister A.B. Maalakaraddy, G.R.Thammagonda, K.S. Ravindranath, and Sharad M. Tanga for their efforts in bringing the regional centre to Kalaburagi.
Umesh Jadhav, Kalaburagi MP, hailed former Minister Sharanprakash Patil’s efforts also.
RGUHS Vice-Chancellor S. Sacchidanand and others were present