Health Minister K. Sudhakar on Friday said that apart from focussing on vaccination, the State Government had taken steps to strengthen health infrastructure in Karnataka through additional recruitments.
Dr. Sudhakar told presspersons in Hubballi on Friday that during the first and second waves of COVID-19 pandemic, ventilators and other equipment were provided to tertiary healthcare centres and technical staff too were hired on contract. “Along with infrastructure augmentation, required staff was appointed on temporary basis. Subsequently, we appointed around 4,000 doctors. Now we have doctors in 90% of the primary health centres (PHCs),” he said.
The Health Minister clarified that the treatment of non-COVID-19 patients had been neglected by the State Government because of the pandemic. “Along with taking steps for COVID-19 management, measures had been initiated to ensure that vaccines required for other epidemics were in good stock. There is no scarcity of any other vaccine in the State,” he said.
Stir by ‘104’ staff
Regarding the ongoing agitation by the staff of ‘104’ ambulance service over non-payment of salary, Dr. Sudhakar said there were several technical issues pertaining to the old tender which had caused various problems. In the new tenders floated for the ambulance service, the earlier flaws in conditions had been corrected so that the State Government had full control over the contract, he said.
He said that in the earlier tender, certain aspects had not been included, which had resulted in the government not having authority to act in cases of breach of contract. All that had been rectified now and whatever problems were being faced by the existing staff would also be rectified soon, he said.
Regarding the former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s comment on him that “power had gone to his head”, Dr. Sudhakar sought to clarify that he had not done anything to evoke such a response.
“All I have done is to initiate an inquiry. In fact, when Mr. Siddaramaiah was the Chief Minister, the former Union Minister K.H. Muniyappa along with me had petitioned to him several times seeking an inquiry into the alleged misappropriation in the Kolar DCC Bank. He should have at least ordered for an inquiry, which he didn’t. It is for Mr. Siddaramaiah to clarify whether he supported corruption in a bid to justify actions of his supporters,” he sought to know.
Dr. Sudhakar also said that if anyone had done any corruption irrespective of the party he or she would go to jail.