Health Minister P.K. Sreemathy has said the Kerala University of Medical and Allied Science in Thrissur will begin to function in the first week of December.
She was addressing a meet-the-press programme at the Thrissur Press Club on Friday.
“The university will be formally launched after the by-elections in the State. An amount of Rs. 10 crore has been earmarked in the budget for the launch and development of the university,” she said.
Asked whether the government would re-consider demands by a section of the medical college doctors to make private practice optional, she said she had made her stand clear in formal and informal talks with the doctors.
“The government is firm on banning private practice by medical college doctors. It is a policy decision and there is no question of changing it. The majority of medical college doctors support the government stance," she said.
Asked whether there was a possibility of the Kerala Government Medical College Teachers' Association renewing its agitation as it had decided to adopt a “wait-and-watch policy” before deciding the further course of action, she said there was no scope for re-launching the strike.
Replying to a question whether she saw KGMCTA's agitation as a failure, she said that the issue of success or failure did not apply to the context. “The main intention was to solve the problems faced by the public and ensure justice. Any reform may be opposed by a minority.”
She said that 400-odd vacant posts in five government medical colleges would be filled within December 31.
“As many as 2,560 doctors had applied for the posts through the Public Service Commission. Of them, 501 are post-graduates. The vacant posts are not causing difficulties to the public as fresh post-graduates from medical colleges have been temporarily posted there under a residency system after they signed a one-year bond. Specialty doctors would be posted in hospitals where their services can be effectively used," she added.
She announced that the Government hospitals in taluk headquarters would soon have round-the-clock casualty facilities.
“The focus is on developing hospitals in the periphery so as to reduce the number of patients in major referral centres such as the Government Medical College Hospitals in Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode. District and taluk hospitals will soon have specialty wings,” she said.
Press Club president Joy Mannur, vice-president V.M. Radhakrishnan and secretary K. Parameswaran also spoke.