Government plans to form separate paramedics council

Government plans to form separate paramedics council

Minister for Health and Family Welfare U T Khader said the State government is contemplating setting up a paramedics council on the lines of the nursing council. 

After inaugurating the Karnataka State 3rd Lab Technologists Conference in the City on Sunday, Khader said that with technicians obtaining degrees from around the world, there was a need for a council that can help them find appropriate placement and address their concerns. “With globalisation, there are a number of allied courses but they are not streamlined. Hence, it is necessary to have a council to look into it,” he added.

Meanwhile, association members submitted a list of challenges they faced and asked the minister to address them. Khader remarked that none of the points on the list were patient-oriented. “There are several government set-ups with manpower shortage. In other places, where there are technicians, they are short of testing kits. If the association can bring all this to our notice, it will be helpful,” he added.

V Venkataswamy, president, Karnataka State Lab Technologists Association sought a hike in lab technicians’ salaries. “At present, lab technicians in government set-ups are being paid only Rs 6,000. Many of them have been on contract for the last 10 years. We urge the minister to bring the pay on par with that of nurses (Rs 10,000),” Venkataswamy said. Khader, however said that one must also consider the financial limitations of the government before seeking a hike. 

 Among the other demands that the association made was creating more posts. “We have just two posts at present. Either junior or senior. Intermediate posts must be created,” he added. 

Asking the government to monitor the recruitment of technicians, Venkataswamy claimed several private hospitals hired people without adequate qualifications on low wages. He added that high school dropouts were being trained on the job, endangering patients’ lives. 

Khader said that in a recent meeting convened at the health department, it was brought to his notice that under the Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK), schoolchildren’s eyes were not being tested regularly. 

“We found that in many places, there were no opthalmologists. In places where opthalmologists were on duty, they did not have the necessary equipment. Opthalmologists were drawing Rs 10,000 a month but remained idle for want of logistics. The equipment, which costs just Rs 30,000, is being acquired now,” he added.  

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