There were shortage of 899 specialists (including 23 in Dakshina Kannada) and 171 MBBS doctors in the state.

The Health and Family Welfare Department is working towards addressing the infrastructure and other problems of government hospitals in the State, including the Wenlock Hospital in Mangalore.

Three government hospitals, including the Wenlock Hospital, are shortly coming under the control of the department, said Health and Family Welfare Minister Arvind Limbavali.

Addressing presspersons in Mangalore on Monday, Mr. Limbavali said the department has already started the process of addressing problems in the Wenlock Hospital and also of the referral hospitals in Davangere, Gulbarga and Bangalore. “Principal Secretary is already on the job. I will be shortly calling a meeting to address the needs of these hospitals,” he said.

Mr. Limbavali’s statement was in response to Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Assembly N. Yogish Bhat’s demand for funds for purchase of equipment necessary for the Wenlock Hospital. Mr. Bhat expressed the need of more x-ray machines, dialysis units, ventilators and a MRI machine.

He also expressed the need for repair of the Jail Ward and Psychiatric Ward of the Hospital. He wanted Mr. Limbavali to allow usage of Rs. 9 crore collected by the hospital as clinical charges and user fees for this purpose. He also sought creation of super speciality units in the hospital for treating cancer and cardiac problems.

Mr. Limbavali said the Government was concerned over shortage of doctors, especially specialists. There were shortage of 899 specialists (including 23 in Dakshina Kannada) and 171 MBBS doctors in the state. Though the Government has made one year rural service compulsory, it was not likely to fill the shortfall of specialists.

With respect to shortfall in Dakshina Kannada, Mr. Limbavali said Dakshina Kannada Deputy Commissioner has been asked to take services of specialists working in private hospitals, who will be paid either based on the number of patients treated or the number of hours spent. “We want specialists to come forward to serve and uplift the image of government hospitals,” he said.

The Minister said the Department was working on framing the Right to Health Bill, which will address the needs of the hospitals and provide better services.

“It is at a very preliminary state,” he said and added that he was thinking of forming a high-level committee and collect opinions about the Bill.

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