Health Minister P. K. Sreemathy said in the Assembly on Tuesday that all the government hospitals in the State would have facilities on par with private hospitals by December this year.

Replying to the debate on the demands for grants for Medical and Public Health, Family Welfare, and Social Security and Welfare; the Minister said that various schemes costing Rs. 1000 crores had been sanctioned to improve the facilities in taluk and district hospitals.

Besides, Rs. 50 crore had been sanctioned for replacing old buildings of primary health centres.

Ms. Sreemathy said that the government medical colleges in the State had already been equipped with modern facilities. Rs. 200 crore had been budgeted for building residential flats for faculty members of the five medical colleges.

She confirmed that the government proposed to bring a legislation to protect doctors and hospitals from attack by patients, their relatives and others.

The Minister claimed that she had been able streamline the functioning of the Health Department. The services of doctors who had been on unauthorised absence were terminated. The field staff was sent back to field duties. All the vacancies under the National Rural Health Mission had been filled. Only 441 vacancies were remaining in the health services now. As many as 661 doctors were appointed to the entry cadre in medical colleges.

Referring to Opposition criticism about quality of drugs being supplied to the government hospitals by Kerala Medical Services Corporation, the Minister said that the reports of quality analysis would be published on the Web site of the Corporation to ensure transparency.

After the Minister’s reply, the House passed the demands for grants totaling Rs. 2140. 22 crore.