State Cabinet has approved it, says Chief Minister

The State-run Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases (RGICD) will be upgraded as a national institute of chest diseases on the lines of NIMHANS, said Chief Minister Siddaramaiah here on Wednesday.

Speaking after inaugurating RGICD’s new building on its premises in Someshwaranagar, the Chief Minister said that a proposal had been approved by the Cabinet. “We have now sent it to the Union government requesting that the hospital be upgraded into a national institute. We are hopeful that the Union government will consider our request,” he said.

“The proposal is to develop this institution into an advanced centre for respiratory diseases and thoracic surgery to cater to all sections of society,” the Chief Minister said.

Pointing out that there are several speciality hospitals run by the State government, including the Sri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, the Indira Gandhi Institute of Child Health, NIMHANS, Minto Ophthalmic Hospital and the Institute of Nephro Urology, the Chief Minister said that the government was keen on developing these hospitals as super-speciality centres. “This will ensure that healthcare on par with corporate hospitals is made available to the poor,” he said.

Expressing concern over shortage of doctors, especially in rural areas, and the increasing trend of private practice by government doctors, the Chief Minister said that this was because of the growth of corporate hospitals. “These hospitals offer hefty pay packets to doctors who are not interested in government service. Doctors should change this attitude,” he said.

Mr. Siddaramaiah, who expressed the government’s helplessness in getting people stop smoking, confessed that he too had the habit of smoking. “I stopped smoking in 1987 after the habit started creating health problems,” he said.

Lauding the services of Shashidhar Buggi, RGICD Director, the Chief Minister said that the hospital had grown from 50 beds to 470 beds over the years. “It is said that an affectionate touch by the doctor will actually treat 50 per cent of the disease in a patient. Doctors should take proper care of your patients,” he said.

He reiterated that the State government had decided to set up one dialysis centre in one taluk of each district. Besides, generic drug stores will be set up in 176 taluks. The proposal to set up a Geriatric Institute and National Institute of Virology in RGICD would soon be placed before the Cabinet, he added.

Dr. Buggi said that the new building would house the out-patient department, nursing college, a 26-bed intensive respiratory care ward and 25 special wards. One floor in the new building would have the geriatric institute, while the ground floor will house a library and administrative block.

Medical Education Minister Sharan Prakash R. Patil said that the government proposed to set up trauma centres in Gulbarga and Mysore.

Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy spoke.