Bangalore, Oct 25, 2014: Health and Family Welfare Minister U T Khader, who was pulled up by Legislative Assembly Speaker Kagodu Thimmappa over the shortage of government doctors, defended himself on Friday, saying, “the Speaker has only given him some suggestions out of affection.”
Speaking to reporters, Khader denied being pulled up and claimed to be happy about the department taking steps to solve problems such as non-availability of doctors and drugs in government hospitals. He also listed out measures taken to ensure effective healthcare services to people.
Kagodu had on Thursday summoned Khader and his department officials and took them to task for not responding to problems, especially non-availability of doctors.
The Speaker had also written a letter to the minister in this regard, besides holding a meeting with him.
Khader said the department had decided to recruit 983 specialist doctors, 331 MBBS doctors, 87 dental doctors, 1,228 nurses and 318 drivers.
The Karnataka Public Service Commission (KPSC) has been asked to recruit the doctors and the department has even proposed an increase in the monthly salary of doctors.
Salary revision is proposed in the range of Rs 70,224 (general duty medical officer) to Rs 1,03,011 (senior specialist). But the proposal is yet to be cleared by the Finance department, he added. Further, the department has decided to supply drugs to hospitals based on demand. Expenditure on drugs per person has been hiked to Rs 270 from Rs 142.
This apart, a 24/7 pharmacy will be opened at all district- and taluk-level hospitals. “The Speaker did not summon me. I went to him on my own and apprised him of all these measures. Moreover, the Speaker and the chief minister have every right to be angry with me. They do it out of affection,” he stated.