Health and Family Welfare Minister U.T. Khader said on Monday that a proposal to appoint 350 doctors and 2,500 ‘D’ group employees to fill vacancies in the Health Department in the State had been sent to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah for his approval.

Addressing a progress review meeting of the Health and Family Welfare Department, here, Mr. Khader said that the health department was facing a severe staff shortage.

He urged the Health Department personnel to behave in a compassionate way with the general public. Nearly 70 per cent of people in the State dependent on government hospitals for their healthcare needs. Rude behaviour of a few officials left a bitter taste among the public availing healthcare services at government hospitals.

Stating that nearly 80 per cent of doctors in government hospitals were “good”, Mr. Khader urged the medical fraternity to better the healthcare standards and minimise the number of complaints, Mr. Khader said.

Ramachandra Bairy, District Health and Family Welfare Officer, said that 658 cases of malaria had been reported in the district from January to May. Public awareness campaign on malaria and dengue had been undertaken in the district. There was no shortage of medicines in the government hospitals or PHCs in the district, he said.

Mr. Khader said taluk medical officers should identify the persons suffering from dengue admitted in government and private hospitals. While implementing the programmes of the Health Department, officials should involve the gram panchayat and taluk panchayat members, he said.

Pramod Madhwaraj, Udupi MLA, urged the minister to take measures to upgrade District Government Hospital, which was still a taluk-level hospital.

Anand Naik, District Surgeon, said District Government Hospital, said the number of doctors at the hospital should be doubled from the existing 20 if it was to be upgraded to a 250-bedd district-level hospital.

Upendra Nayak, president of the Udupi Zilla Panchayat, M.T. Reju, Deputy Commissioner, and Pranesh Rao, Deputy Secretary of the zilla panchayat were present.

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