The government is planning to merge the Medical Education department and the Health and Family Welfare department to solve various issues between the two departments, mainly those related to the Health department’s medical officers who had boycotted work for four days from February 9.
At a Cabinet sub-committee meeting held here on Wednesday, Medical Education minister S A Ramdas and Health and Family Welfare minister Aravinda Limbavali agreed for the merger of the two departments.
A committee consisting of the Health department’s principal secretary M Madan Gopal and Medical Education department secretary Govindaraju has been formed to work out the merger modalities and, to list the pros and cons of such a move. The committee has been given 90 days time to submit its report.
Dr H N Ravindra, president, Karnataka Government Health Department Officers and Employees’ Welfare Association expressed happiness over the decision.
“I do understand that it will take some time as all the modalities have to be checked. It is a positive step forward in solving the problems faced by the Health department,” he added.
Meanwhile, status quo will be maintained with regard to relieving of doctors from Health department working in hospitals under Medical education department. Recruitment of 720 nurses and paramedical staff to Medical Education department will be carried out.
The Health department’s demand for getting back 10 district hospitals from the Medical Education department may be solved once the two departments are merged.
Government sources said that ever since the Medical Education department was created for “political convenience” in 1996, the Health department’s doctors and other health workers have been facing insecurity.
In 2009, Medical Education department had randomly absorbed 144 doctors from Health department by overlooking service seniority of the doctors.
This caused displeasure among doctors working under the Health department as they were not absorbed despite being senior specialists.
The Medical Education department’s decision to take over district hospitals for its proposed medical colleges had also irked those in the Health department.
For, doctors working in Health department had to remain in rural areas. Even in terms of salary, the Health department doctors were getting much less than those in Medical Education department.