The State government has decided to construct an Arogya Soudha here at an estimated cost of Rs. 90 crore to bring the offices of various health schemes and projects under one roof.

Minister for Health and Family Welfare U.T. Khader told presspersons here on Thursday that the foundation stone of the building would be laid next week near the State Institute of Health and Family Welfare on Magadi Road here. It would be a ‘green building’ and it would come up on 4.5 acres of land.

The intention of bringing all offices of the department under one roof was to ensure team work, and for administrative convenience. Now offices of the Health and Family Welfare Department are scattered in different buildings.

The Minister took several decisions after holding a meeting with officials of the department on Wednesday.

Mr. Khader said that there were 18,301 vacancies in various categories in the department. Vacancies would be filled after consultation with the Chief Minister, he said.

To ensure quality services, all officials transferred on deputation to other departments would be recalled. No official would be allowed to leave the parent department on deputation.

To bring in discipline and punctuality among doctors and other staff in all hospitals and healthcare facilities, a decision has been taken to install biometric attendance tracking system, he said. This system would record the time of an official’s arrival at the office and his departure.

Some hospitals have installed the biometric system under the World Bank-aided Karnataka Health Systems Development Project.

‘Arogya Vahini’

A call centre called “Arogya Vahini” would be set up for providing counselling and addressing public grievances related to health, Minister for Health and Family Welfare U.T. Khader said here on Thursday.

Any person could dial 104 to obtain information about the nearest hospital, health facility and medicine to be taken in case of an emergency.

Doctors would provide answers to public queries, the Minister said. The “Arogya Vahini” scheme would be launched in June.