The government is planning to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with specialists in the City asking them to serve in rural areas, said Health and Family Welfare Minister Aravind Limbavali.
The government hopes to solve the problem of shortage of specialist doctors in community health centres and district hospitals, he added.
‘Funds down the drain’
Speaking at the official launch of the Vajpayee Arogyashree health scheme for Bangalore Division on Sunday, the minister said the government spends lakhs of rupees every year on students in government medical colleges, hoping they will serve the people.
“Most doctors, however, have preferred to settle abroad, and this has led to acute shortage of doctors in Karnataka,” he added.
Limbavali said that they had received suggestions and were discussing the implementation of a new law, ‘Right to Health’, on the lines of the Right to Education Act.
Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, who launched the scheme, said it was functioning successfully in Gulbarga and Belgaum divisions and he expected a similar response from families below poverty line (BPL) in Bangalore.
Deputy Chief Minister R Ashoka said that in health care system, India was lagging behind the West, where health treatment is taken care of completely by the government. “The Vajpayee Arogyashree scheme is an initiative to provide latest and free medical treatment to the poor.”
Kannada film actor Darshan, who was present on the occasion, has been roped in by the Health Department as an ambassador for all similar health schemes in the State.
The Department had organised a screening camp at Kadugodi near Whitefield on Saturday, where more than 5,000 people, mainly from BPL families, underwent health check-up. More than 138 persons were told to take tertiary treatment in hospitals identified under the scheme.
Vajpayee Arogyashree, which was first launched in Gulbarga division in 2010, was extended to Belgaum and then to Mysore division. So far, over 30,500 patients have received pre-authorisation to undergo tertiary treatment and more than 21,000 patients have been treated for their ailments.
The government has spent about Rs 165 crore to help members of BPL families receive tertiary treatment.