Government neglecting healthcare facilities for the poor, says Ugrappa

V.S. Ugrappa  

Special Correspondent

Questions bid to challenge order on waste treatment plants for hospitals

Bangalore: Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council V.S. Ugrappa on Tuesday criticised the State Government for the poor upkeep of government hospitals and said that instead of abiding by the direction of the Lok Adalat to install waste treatment plants, the Government appeared to be challenging it.

He told presspersons here that both Minister for Health B. Sriramulu and Minister for Medical Education Ramachandra Gowda were not serious about meeting the healthcare needs of the poor. Apart from the inadequate supply of medicines to government hospitals, most of them were poorly equipped. “It is the collective responsibility of the Government to provide proper healthcare facilities to the people,” he said.

Mr. Ugrappa said government hospitals were short of staff.

In Tumkur district, while the sanctioned total staff strength was 2,768, the present strength was only 1,985. Whereas 90 specialist doctors had been approved for the district, there were only 65 specialists. Of the nine nursing officers approved for the district there were only two. Only one of the ten ventilators installed in the Tumkur Government Hospital was in working condition, Mr. Ugrappa said.

‘Make it mandatory’

“It may be a case of doctors refusing to serve in rural areas. But if the Government has the will then there can always be a way. Similar to the mandatory service to be put in by teachers in rural areas, the Government can also ensure that doctors put in mandatory service in rural hospitals.”

With reference to the directions of the Lok Adalat to government hospitals in Bangalore based on notices issued by the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board, he said the Government was duty bound to install treatment plants for liquid biomedical waste for hospitals with 100 beds and solid waste treatment plants for hospitals with 200 beds or more.

The government hospitals in Bangalore served nearly 5,000 outpatients every day, and there were nearly 1,000 inpatient admissions daily. The Union Government was also allocating a large amount of money to the State for better upkeep of district hospitals and primary health centres, he said.

On the brainstorming session planned by the Chief Minister with top officials at a resort on the outskirts of Bangalore, he said the focus of the Government should be on serving the people. However, the Government was only serving the interests of Ministers and a section of ruling party legislators. The welfare of the people had been relegated to the background, he added.