The government has decided to ban agitations and protests inside the government medical college hospital campuses in the State, P.K. Sreemathy, Minister for Health, has said.

Inaugurating a public meeting organised against the ongoing UDF agitation at the Kottayam Government Medical College hospital against the implementation of the referral system, Ms. Sreemathy alleged that the

Opposition was trying to politicise the initiative by the LDF government to make a quantum jump in quality improvement in the medical education system in the State. The move to implement the referral system and ban private practice of medical college teachers was initiated during the tenure of Congress (I) leader V.M. Sudheeran as Health Minister, she reminded. However, his efforts did not succeed.

“The LDF has done what the UDF could not, and they are trying to politicise the whole issue,” she alleged. The government order asking the government medical college doctors not to admit their private patients in medical college hospitals where they work, was issued by the UDF government, she pointed out.

With the implementation of the referral system, those who need emergency medical aid and those who are in serious conditions will be able to get better attention at the Medical College Hospitals, she pointed out. In addition, the doctors will get more time to focus on teaching and research.

Reacting to allegations that the government was implementing the referral system to aid the private sector in the State, Ms. Sreemathy said the truth was to the contrary. The government was engaged in an effort to strengthen the rural health dispensation system and once the primary health centres, community health centres and taluk hospitals become active, that would liberate the common man from the private hospitals.

She said the work on the Rs.120 crore project at Thriuvananthapuram Government Medical College was on to bring in state of the art facilities to the common man. While the Central government would extend financial support of Rs. 100 crore, the balance Rs. 20 crore was extended by the State government. The facility would be commissioned in January 2010, she said.

V.N. Vasavan MLA, V.R. Bhaskaran, K.P. Sugunan and others spoke on the occasion.

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