Legislators bat for better deal for government doctors

Legislators bat for better deal for government doctors

Legislators bat for better deal for government doctors

Cutting across party lines, legislators on Tuesday stressed the need to overhaul the medical care system in the State, besides providing attractive salaries to government doctors to help them render their services better and without harassment.

Initiating a discussion on the demands for grants for the health department, BJP MLA Dr C N Ashwath Narayan observed that government doctors are not only poorly paid, but also mentally tortured, besides being saddled with heavy workload.

Stating that everyone questions the efficacy of government doctors, he said that at times, they are both humiliated and even manhandled, forcing them to shun or take up work at rural postings.

It would be prudent to bring the health department out of the purview of the zilla panchayats and function independently, he added.

Observing that this was basically due to paucity of sufficient doctors at the 2,300 primary healthcare centres (PHCs) in the State, catering for six crore population, he said that ironically, while the sanctioned posts are 2,500, the vacancy is just 200.

Citing the example of Tamil Nadu, where for its seven crore population there are 1,600 PHCs with 4,500 doctors, he said, ideally there should be one PHC for 30,000 population. But in some places in the State, for 80,000 population there is just one PHC, while in some places, for 1,000 people there is one PHC.

There is a mismatch in sanctioning PHCs and also from 2010, the government has stopped recruiting doctors, he pointed out. 

Concurring, JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy pointed out that medical seats being very expensive, doctors naturally sought attractive avenues that provided good income to earn back the money they spend to get their degrees.

Government doctors should get salary on a par with those working in the medical education department, he said, adding, else it would be difficult to get doctors for government service.

Drug purchase mafia

Alleging that there was a cartel working to get government tenders, Ashwath Narayan said this led to substandard medicines are being supplied to government hospitals.

Maintaining that generic drugs must be purchased only from well-known companies, he bemoaned that drugs manufactured by Karnataka Antibiotics and Pharmaceuticals Limited, a government-owned firm, were not of good quality.

There are no labs to get quality of medicines tested, he rued, emphasising that government must reimburse medical bills of legislators, ministers and government employees only if they undertake treatment in government hospitals.

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