The aim to provide specialised healthcare at affordable cost to the poor: Minister

Minister of State for Medical Education Sharan Prakash Patil has said that the State government proposes to establish super-speciality hospitals in all divisional headquarters to provide poorer sections of society with specialised healthcare facilities at affordable costs, if not free.

Speaking after being felicitated by the Hyderabad Karnataka Education Society (HKES) and Mahadevappa Rampure Medical College here on Tuesday for his achievements in public life, Dr. Patil said that the Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital at Raichur, which had remained closed for the past two years, would be reopened partially in November.

Other schemes

The government also proposed to establish cardiac and trauma care centres in government hospitals at all divisional headquarters to take critical healthcare facilities to the doorsteps of economically weaker sections, he said. Defending the government’s decision to establish more government medical colleges in the State, Dr. Patil, who is an alumnus of the Mahadevappa Rampure Medical College, said that it had been planned to open government medical colleges in all district headquarters in phases. The main intention behind the move was to open up medical education avenues to poorer sections of society and increase the number of medical seats available under government quota, where the fee was minimal, compared to those being charged by private colleges, he said.

The establishment of government medical colleges at district headquarters would automatically ensure better healthcare facilities in government hospitals attached to respective medical college, where specialists in all the departments would be available for providing free treatment to poor people. One of the major benefits of the Article 371 (J) was that students from Hyderabad Karnataka region would now be assured of 70 per cent of seats available in medical colleges, he said.

The government was contemplating a new law to govern medical education in the State and make the functioning of Medical Education Department more transparent and corruption-free.

“The department will always work for protecting the interests of people and meritorious students, particularly those hailing from poorer sections of society,” he said.

Eminent cardio-thoracic surgeon Vivek Jawali, who is also an alumni of the same medical college and was honoured for being nominated to the Medical Council of India (MCI), said that the policy of compulsory two-year medical services in villages for MBBS graduates needed to be relooked.

The government should not take away the prime period of two years in the initial stages of academic life of undergraduate medical students and deprive them of an opportunity to pursue post-graduation. The rural services could be made compulsory at a later stage by providing all benefits, he said.

Three more alumni of the college, including H. Veerabhadrappa, who was elected president of the Karnataka Medical Council; Shivanand Bhimalli, who was nominated to the MCI; and Raichur MLA Shivaraj Patil, were also honoured.