The Karnataka government will soon upgrade its existing Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) across the state to function as 24/7 clinics, Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr K Sudhakar said on Thursday. Addressing the media after a meeting with former health ministers and MLAs (who are also doctors) at the Vidhana Soudha, he said that the PHCs will be upgraded with the help of the World Bank and the state will also come up with a new policy for this purpose.
"At present, there are 2,300 PHCs in the state. We are securing World Bank funding to make existing PHCs function 24/7. The COVID-19 pandemic has opened our eyes, and based on this experience, I feel we need to improve the quality of health services at all levels," he said.
Noting that a large section of doctors are hesitant to serve in rural areas, Sudhakar said, "The proposed new policy plans to give promotion based on the rural service of medical professionals."
The minister said that a total of 2,500 doctors, including 1,250 MBBS doctors, 950 specialists and 150 dentists, are being recruited.
"Apart from this, 1,500 resident doctors will also be recruited. Vacant posts at all district hospitals, community health centres and PHCs will be filled in by December. Para medicos will also be recruited shortly," he said.
Dr Sudhakar also claimed that the COVID-19 pandemic is under control in the state with Bengaluru reporting a case fatality rate of less than 1%. But he warned that the public should not let their guard down and strictly follow physical distancing and wear masks.
Prior to the meeting on Thursday, Dr Sudhakar had also inspected the factory fire site in Hosaguddadahall and said action will be initiated against the culprits after an investigation report is submitted. He said huge quantities of chemicals, including hand sanitisers, were being stored here in the godown without obtaining the necessary permission.