Soudha offices to be made tobacco-free from today

Soudha offices to be made tobacco-free from today

All govt and private offices to be covered at later stages

Soudha offices to be made tobacco-free from today

 The State government has decided to declare all government offices, including Vidhan Soudha and Vikas Soudha, as No Tobacco Zone.

Minister for Health and Family Welfare U T Khader said the government order for the same has already been prepared and it would be officially announced on the occasion of the World No Tobacco Day on Saturday (May 31). 

The State government will mark the occasion, this time with the theme, “Increase in Tax on Tobacco.” The minister added that he was in favour of the proposed increase in tax on tobacco.

Explaining the new regulations to be in place with effect from Saturday, Khader said the regulations would not be just on smoking but on all tobacco products. “Until now, there were no such rules in place,” he said, adding that the government would set an example by declaring all its offices as No Tobacco Zone and would later consider extending it to private organisations as well.

Further, the department of Health and Family Welfare will also hold talks with the Agriculture department to look into measures checking cultivation of tobacco. 

“It is not enough if we curb sales. We also have to minimise the production. However, we cannot once for all ban cultivation of it. The livelihood of several people is dependent on it. We will have to look into rehabilitation and provide them with alternatives,” the minister said. 

Check on quackery

In order to keep tabs on quacks in the State, the government will make it compulsory for all practitioners to display licence outside the clinic so that patients can see it before entering it. “Just like they display bar licence, clinics should also display their licences outside,” Khader said. In addition, colour code will be assigned to licences to differentiate among different systems of medicine- Allopathy, Ayurveda, Unani etc.

 “There are complaints that Ayush doctors are prescribing allopathy medicine. This colour coding of licences will also help patients understand the type of medicine the doctor is allowed to prescribe, he added. 

According to statistics available with the State government, there are 1,980 identified quacks in the State out of which the government has issued notices to 1,819 people and has registered FIRs in 161 cases.

High incidence of quackery has been reported in Gulbarga (294), Koppal (196), Bijapur (195), Shimoga (151), Gadag (161), Dharwad (146), Haveri (138) and Kolar (118). Out of these, notices have been issued to all the 118 identified cases in Kolar, 294 identified in Gulbarga, 161 in Gadag, 146 in Dharwad and all the 138 cases in Haveri. 

The minister also flagged off the online portal for Karnataka Private Medical Establishment (KPME). The online portal facilitates registration for Licence Certificate as per the provisions of the KPME Act. In addition, online Preconception and Pre Natal Diagnostic Technique (PC and PNDT) registration system was also inaugurated.