Health and Family Welfare Minister U.T. Khader has said his priority is to ensure that every primary health centre (PHC) in the State has adequate number of doctors and a full-fledged pharmacy attached to it.

Speaking on the sidelines of a programme organised to felicitate personnel involved in running ‘108’ Arogya Kavacha emergency response service, the Minister said his aim was to ensure that all the PHCs in the State were on a par with private hospitals.

“I want to ensure that government hospitals have good intensive care units,” he said.

Mr. Khader said doctors were not ready to serve in rural areas and this had created a shortage of doctors, particularly specialists.

“A Bill passed by the government to make rural service compulsory for medical graduates is awaiting the President’s assent. After the upcoming Assembly session, a delegation of Ministers will meet the President to discuss this issue,” he said.


Several emergency medical technicians, emergency response officers and pilots who help run the Arogya Kavacha service were felicitated by the Minister.

Speaking to The Hindu some of them narrated their experience on the line of duty. Yamanura Gouda Police Patil (24), an emergency medical technician from Belgaum, recollected attending to a 23-year-old man who was stabbed by his relative last month. “He had a deep wound and his intestines were spilling out. I washed the wound and provided first aid before rushing him to hospital,” he said, and added that the District Government Hospital refused to admit the patient as his injury was severe.

Mr. Patil said the patient was later rushed to a private hospital where he underwent treatment and was saved. “I was initially tense. But I knew I had no time to waste, so I mustered courage and did what was taught to me during my training. I am now confident of tackling any situation,” he said.

Mehaboob A. (29), a pilot from Dakshina Kannada, said, “Every day we see so many critical cases. We have to maintain our calm and take care of the patient and at the same time psychologically support the [patient’s] family members.”

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