Fin dept nod must for upgrading PHCs, says Sudhakar

Fin dept nod must for upgrading PHCs, says Sudhakar

As an interim measure, 25 PHCs per district are being upgraded at a cost of Rs 20 lakh per unit under the Amruth scheme

PHCs will be selected for upgrading, based on the availability of minimum of two acres of land under the health department. Credit: DH File Photo

Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar said on Tuesday that 250 PHCs had been identified for upgrading, but the work can begin only when the finance department approves it.

This comes three days after the Karnataka State Legal Services Authority (KSLSA) brought to light the crumbling infrastructure at the state’s primary health centres (PHCs),

Health Commissioner Dr K V Trilok Chandra said, Rs 1,875 crore was required for the project, at a cost of Rs 7.5 crore per PHC.

On the point raised by KSLSA that only 60 PHCs among those surveyed were able to provide Covid treatment, he said, only hospitals at the district and taluk level were identified as treatment centres for Covid. 

“PHCs are not meant to treat Covid. They were supposed to do basic screening of patients, including testing and triaging, and refer patients to designated Covid care centres and Covid hospitals,” Trilok Chandra said.

As an interim measure, 25 PHCs per district are being upgraded at a cost of Rs 20 lakh per unit under the Amruth scheme.

“We’ve data on 50% of the PHCs that need to be upgraded,” the official said. 

Sudhakar said PHCs which have more OPD/IPD arrivals and where more deliveries take place have been selected for providing additional services and facilities.

PHCs will be selected for upgrading, based on the availability of minimum of two acres of land under the health department.

“The provision of additional equipment for conducting 63 diagnostic investigations, tele-consultation facilities, improving infection control practices, referral protocols for tertiary care, geriatric and palliative healthcare services, training of staff to provide quality services and general maintenance and housekeeping will also be done,” he said. 

“Targets have been set for improvement of patient satisfaction score. As on September 27, as many as 101 PHCs have been identified. Once we get approval from the finance department, work will begin,” the minister said. 

On the state’s capacity to do basic blood investigations at PHCs, Chandra said, “Three-part and five-part haematology analysers are being distributed to PHCs. These machines cover a majority of the tests.” 

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