If Health Department proposal is approved, government hospitals will have dental units

If the State Health and Family Welfare Department’s proposal on having an oral health policy is included in the budget, all government-run hospitals will have dental units.

Health Minister U.T. Khader, who announced the proposal at a Doctors’ Day programme organised by the Karnataka State Government Medical Officers’ Association (KGMOA) here on Thursday, said it was important to make dental treatment available at government hospitals for the benefit of patients.

“Usually, the poor who cannot afford expensive dental treatment in private clinics and hospitals, tend to ignore oral hygiene. We are planning this policy to ensure that none is deprived of treatment for any kind of health problems,” Mr. Khader later told The Hindu.

At the programme, the Minister announced that the government would soon introduce a health insurance scheme for the staff of the health department and their family members.

“We have noticed that the common reason cited by our department staff whenever they are seeking exemption from transfers pertains to the health problems of their family members. This is a serious concern and we need to do something about this. Although they have a medical reimbursement facility now, not all can arrange for money suddenly during health emergencies,” the Minister said.

Responding to a memorandum of demands submitted by KGMOA members, the Minister said that he was aware of the problems faced by the doctors and other staff while on duty.

“We will consider your demands step by step. We know that if you are stressed, the same will be passed on to your patients,” he said in a lighter vein. Medical Education Minister Sharanprakash Patil called upon the health staff and doctors to create confidence among people about getting medical treatment at government health facilities.

Stating that the health and medical education departments would function in coordination, Mr. Patil said that health centres in the rural areas would be upgraded on priority.

Principal Secretary (Health and Family Welfare) M. Madan Gopal and KGMOA president Shashidhar Basvaraju spoke.