Karnataka: Report card cites shortage of public health facilities, high costs in pvt sector

The number of doctors in primary health centres has reduced by 11.7 per cent, between 2005 and 2021
Last Updated : 19 April 2023, 00:30 IST

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The government does not have a disaster management plan for the health sector, which requires a well-functioning public health system and a well-regulated private sector, said a report card released by citizens’ group Bahutva Karnataka on Thursday.

Though Covid brought to light the shortage of public facilities and the high costs in the private sector, there has been no serious attempt to fix these, the report said.

The number of doctors in primary health centres has reduced by 11.7 per cent, between 2005 and 2021.

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The recently introduced Namma Clinics have issues with human resources, timing, equipment, etc.

The state continues to promote the PPP model, such as announcing medical colleges under public private partnership (PPP).

Karnataka’s previous experience shows that PPP is neither cost-effective nor improves healthcare access. It rather makes policy decisions opaque and unaccountable, says the report.

Speaking at the report release event, Dr Akhila Vasan of Karnataka Janarogya Chaluvali raised concerns about the state’s maternal mortality rate.

A Narasimhamurthy of Slum Janandolana Karnataka said Namma Clinics in slums or deprived urban areas are still not functional.

Though the state health budget has increased by 17.4 per cent post-Covid, there’s not enough focus on disease prevention and primary healthcare.

Grievance redressal mechanism for patients who faced negligence or denial of care also remains poor.

The report says the government and medical councils have not adequately addressed communalism and anti-reservation comments openly made by doctors.

Also, contractual nature of the work of many health service providers like ASHAs and ambulance drivers have put them at risk of occupational hazards and exploitation. Many of these employees are from Dalit and OBC sections, says the report.

Published 13 April 2023, 16:57 IST

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