Bengaluru, August 6, 2017: Health and Family Welfare Minister K R Ramesh Kumar on Aug 5, Saturday said 146 taluk hospitals in the state will get generic medicine stores by November this year.
Generic medicines cost 60-80% less than branded medicines at the same quality, the minister told reporters. "Three agencies - Mysore Sales International Ltd, Karnataka State Drugs Logistics and Warehousing Society and the Red Cross - have been roped in to set up generic medicine stores in taluk hospitals," he said.
Doctors on the government’s payroll have signed a self-declaration that they will not prescribe branded medicines to patients, he said.
"The only impediment in setting up generic medicine stores is the shortage of pharmacists. We are offering pharmacists an incentive of Rs 2.5 lakh to run the stores and I hope enough people come forward," he said.
The government’s August 15 deadline to launch free dialysis services in taluk hospitals has been postponed, Kumar informed. "On October 2, free dialysis service will start in 65 taluk hospitals and the rest by November."
Telemedicine, through which patients are remotely diagnosed and treated through telecommunication technology, will be launched in all primary and community health centres across the state soon, National Health Mission director Rathan Kelkar said. The government is also adopting teleradiology through which radiologists based out of a command centre in Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute will remotely study X-Ray reports of patients.
"The first pilot will be done in the Lingsugur primary health centre and six district hospitals. It’s an innovative scheme that helps us get around the shortage of radiologists," Kelkar said.
The Joint Legislature Committee studying the controversial amendments to the Karnataka Private Medical Establishments Act will reach a decision soon, Kumar said. "We need only a couple of more meetings to finalise things," he said. The amendment Bill, which the government tabled in June, seeks to fix rates for various procedures in private hospitals. Private hospitals, however, point out that the Bill keeps government hospitals out of its ambit.
The Department of Health and Family Welfare on Saturday signed a memorandum of understanding with Tata Trusts and Tata Consultancy Services to implement a Digital Nerve Centre (DiNC). The technology initiative, which the government wants to adopt after seeing its success in the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, tracks the treatment history of patients and helps them get timely appointments and treatment.