To ensure quality healthcare round the clock across the State, the Health and Family Welfare Department is working on upgrading its network of 2,359 primary healthcare centres (PHCs).
The existing six-bed PHCs, each one of which is catering to nearly 30,000 population, will be upgraded to 12- to 20-bed facilities. While the existing ones will be upgraded, more health centres will be established, said Health and Medical Education Minister K. Sudhakar.
After making a presentation on establishing model PHCs to Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa on Thursday, the Minister told reporters that the number of doctors would be increased from one to a minimum of three to four, including a lady doctor and an Ayush doctor.
The Chief Minister said allocation to the Health Department would be enhanced in the budget for PHC upgrading. “All the centres will be equipped to provide 24x7 medical services to the needy. We are committed to providing effective and free healthcare to the people across the State,” he said.
According to the presentation, every PHC will have a radiology section with X-Ray and ultrasound scanning facilities besides separate rooms for minor OTs, casualty room, two tables in labour operation room, and a primary-level lab. Yoga and wellness centres will be part of the PHC to enhance mental and physical well-being of the public.
Besides, the State government is also considering providing accommodation to doctors and nurses. “The lack of good housing facilities is one of the main reasons why doctors are hesitant to serve in rural areas and PHCs. In order to address this problem and to ensure staff availability at any given point of time, the model PHCs will include residential facility with two-BHK housing for doctors and one-BHK housing for nurses and ANM staff,” Dr. Sudhakar said.
Moreover, every PHC will be provided with one ambulance and e-hospital facility to connect with superspecialty hospitals. “Even a small X-ray report will also be reviewed by a specialist doctor from a superspecialty hospital. Community health centres will also be upgraded. Taluk and district hospitals will be modernised. District hospitals with 200 beds will be upgraded to 500-700 beds,” he said.
A model PHC would cost between ₹6 crore and ₹8 crore, the Minister said. “Kerala and Tamil Nadu have better health infrastructure and it is our Chief Minister’s desire that Karnataka should become a model in terms of health infrastructure for the entire country,” he added.