KARNATAKA

Private hospitals to be told to treat dengue patients for free

We will go all out to check vector-borne diseases: Sriramulu

In the wake of widespread prevalence of dengue and chikungunya cases in the State, the Government on Thursday said it would instruct private hospitals and nursing homes to provide free treatment for patients.

Minister for Health and Family Welfare B. Sriramulu, who was till now busy with organising the “Swabhimani Yatra” in Bellary to counter the Congress padayatra, on Thursday reviewed the functioning of the department and said steps would be taken on a war-footing to check the spread four major diseases — dengue, chikungunya, malaria, and A(H1N1). Private hospitals and nursing homes would be given instructions to provide free treatment and medicines for people suffering from dengue and chikungunya, he said.

The Minister said an expert committee had been constituted to recommend to the Government how to clinically define suspected cases of dengue.

The panel would give its report in two days. The department was unable to track the number of dengue cases on account of lack of communication between government and private hospitals.

T.S. Cheluvaraju, Joint Director (Communicable Diseases), has been appointed the nodal officer to monitor and check spread of diseases, he said.

So far this year, 1,895 blood samples had been examined and 857 cases had been confirmed as dengue. One death has been reported as against eight last year. A total of 14 sentinel surveillance centres had been functioning in the State for diagnosing dengue and all tests were conducted for free, he said.

The Minister said 4,254 suspected chikungunya cases had been reported till July-end and 679 cases had tested positive.

A total of 17,374 malarial cases had been reported from January to June as against 14,700 during the same period last year.

One person had died of malaria this year.

As per the National Health Policy, 50 per cent reduction in the incidence of malaria with 2005 base is targeted by 2010-end.

Compared to 83,181 malarial cases in 2005, the State had achieved 44 per cent reduction by 2009.

The Minister said 803 people received treatment for A(H1NI) so far this year and 61 had died. In 2009, the disease claimed 135 lives. “The incidence of the disease is on the decline. However, constant vigil is maintained and the situation is being monitored,” he said.

A meeting would be convened with Minister for Medical Education Ramachandra Gowda and other civic agencies in Bangalore.

The Minister said he would visit Bangalore and review the functioning of the department once a week.

For any grievances related to functioning of a hospital or health centre, call the Minister on 9901157777 or Mr. Cheluvaraju on 9449843136.

Officials of the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike and the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences attended the meeting.

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