Mangaluru, Feb 16, 2015: Minister for Health and Family Welfare, U.T. Khader on Monday said the department would set up at least five laboratories to test communicable diseases across the state this year. The decision comes in the spike in reported cases of H1N1 across the state.
Speaking to presspersons here, Mr. Khader said focus would be on North Karnataka which lacks the laboratory facility even as people and government agencies were finding it difficult to get the test reports from laboratories located in Bengaluru, Manipal or Shivamogga.
“This step should have been taken when the flu broke out in 2009-10 itself; but I’m not politicising the issue. The focus would be on speedy establishment of laboratories,” he said without elaborating details of the places where these laboratories would come up.
H1N1 Under control
The department was not indifferent towards the spread of the disease and it swung into action immediately after coming to know about the disease, Mr. Khader claimed. Shifting the blame on patients, who failed to recognise and report the symptoms, the Minister said the disease must have been contacted outside the state, particularly, from Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Assam.
Details of dealers with whom tamiflu stocks are available would be hosted on the department website for the benefit of private hospitals, Mr. Khader said.
While 18 deaths have so far been reported from across the state so far, one death was reported in Dakshina Kannada; but the victim was a resident of neighbouring Kasaragod.
On Doctors’ recruitment, Mr. Khader said the government has permitted both recruitment options — direct or through Karnataka Public Service Commission. The department is yet to take a final call on the method. The department requires nearly one thousand postgraduate doctors among other medical doctors this year.While doctors would be recruited twice this year, he would keep a system in place where the recruitment has to be done every year thereafter.
Since the department is unlikely to get as many candidates as it needed, the recruitment would be done twice this year, he said. Though the department was empowered to make regular recruitment of doctors every year, the same was not done and instead it continued to hire doctors on contract, Mr. Khader regretted.
Mr. Khader said efforts are in final stage to remove pay-disparity between postgraduate medical doctors in the department and teaching postgraduate doctors with department of medical education, which has been a major grouse of practicing medical doctors. Though medical doctors’ pay would get revised substantially, it would be a little less to teaching doctors due to the nature of work, the Minister said.
Similarly, the practicing medical doctors were unhappy with minimum difference of salary between MBBS doctors and postgraduate doctors. This issue too is being addressed with the proposed pay hike in postgraduate doctors pay, he said.
Meanwhile, the department has increased the consolidated pay to medical officers on contract, from Rs. 28,000 a month to Rs. 40,000 a month with immediate effect. Those serving in rural areas with population less than 25,000 would get Rs. 2,000 more, he added.
Courtesy: The Hindu