Minister performs 'surgery', but health reforms long way away

Minister performs 'surgery', but health reforms long way away

The year 2011 saw large-scale irregularities being exposed in government hospitals and medical colleges, thanks to surprise inspections by Medical Education Minister S A Ramdas, who unearthed the ugly side of the healthcare facilities in the State.

The minister’s visit to Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGUHS) exposed the ‘one lakh, one mark’ scam, in which evaluators allegedly demanded money from medical students for marks.

The minister directed that, henceforth, no personnel should be employed on contract basis for medical examinations, including for evaluation. The scam-hit RGUHS is trying to reform itself and one such attempt is to get National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Professionals (NABH) certification.

Efforts are being made to computerise all the sections, including the examination branch, at the university.

In 2011, efforts were also made to enforce installation of CCTVs at all examination centres. The State government also announced that it would join the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) proposed by the Centre in order to curb manipulation in examination, seat matrix and to provide quality education to students.

A raid was conducted on the directorate of medical education which forced Dr Aruna, the director, to go on a month’s leave after the minister found large-scale lapses at the directorate office.

All the 12 autonomous medical colleges as also the Nursing and Paramedical Board were dogged by either administrative lapses or examination malpractices.

Vijayanagar Institute of Medical Sciences (VIMS), Bellary, was embroiled in the PGCET scam, which is being probed by the CID.

The medical education minister announced to bring five hospitals — Victoria, Vani Vilas, Minto, Nephro-Urology and Dental College — and the Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute (BMCRI) on one campus, on the lines of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi. During 2011, the State government decided to start a paramedical and nursing university. Ramdas announced that guidelines would be put in place to keep a tab on unethical clinical trials in the State.

On the private hospital front, Fortis Hospital lost its licence for organ transplant as it was found to have performed pancreas transplant on a woman without holding proper licence for the same, leading to the death of the patient.

Karnataka Medical Council was also in the news for the wrong reasons as the returning officer for the Council polls failed to send the ballot papers to all registered doctors in the State.

Out of the 50,000-odd medical practitioners, only 5,000 received ballot papers and elected the Council members. The State government is yet to finalise its nominations, before the Council President is elected.

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