He says public healthcare can be better run with one Minister for Medical Education and Health Departments
Minister for Medical Education K. Sudhakar, who was allocated the Health and Family Welfare portfolio, on Monday said Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa discussed with him and B. Sriramulu, who was handling the Health Department, last week itself before making the rejig.
“Mr. Sriramulu, who was also looking after Backward Classes Welfare, was given the important Social Welfare Department on his request,” maintained Dr. Sudhakar, who will be handling both Medical Education and Health portfolios for containing the COVID-19 pandemic spread. The Social Welfare portfolio was with Deputy Chief Minister Govind Karjol.
Dr. Sudhakar told reporters here that the Departments of Health and Family Welfare and Medical Education in the State have independent Ministers but the departments at the Centre and in most States have one Minister. When there was no upper limit for the Cabinet, the portfolios were bifurcated to accommodate the Ministerial aspirants. For technical and administrative reasons, both should be handled by one Minister; otherwise the management becomes difficult, he observed.
While thanking the Chief Minister for trusting and giving him the Health portfolio, Dr. Sudhakar said he would strive to improve the public healthcare system in the State. “Healthcare management is a challenge. I wish to have a Kerala model of healthcare system in the State or even a better one for making our State a leader in public medical care.”
On his meeting with the Chief Minister on Dasara fete, he said the Chief Minister did not want the festivities to become a reason for COVID-19 spread and take preventive steps accordingly, laying emphasis on simple celebrations adhering to the traditional aspects. “He has told us to tackle the pandemic in Mysuru where the positivity rate and the death rate have gone up.”
To a query, he said he has asked for a death audit in Mysuru and steps would be taken based on the report.
Earlier, Dr. Sudhakar, who chaired a meeting with officials and doctors from his departments, said efforts are being made to enhance the beds in government hospitals here from 600 to 800 and address the staff scarcity as well. Private hospitals had been strictly told to set aside 50 per cent of beds for COVID-19 management. The focus is now on bringing the death rate to less than one per cent, he added.