From Our Special Correspondent
Daijiworld Media Network
Bengaluru, Sep 12: A separate authority will be set up for all health services soon, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai announced in Bengaluru on Sunday.
He was speaking at a function in Vidhana Soudha after dedicating 120 new Advanced Life Support Ambulances for the 108 Arogya Kavacha Emergency Medical Services.
Ambulances turn out to be health lines as they rush to shift patients to hospitals when the health of a patient fails. These ambulances should not become merely vehicles to transport patients to hospitals but must be able to quickly rush to the spot within minutes of telephone calls, he said pointing out that the 108 Ambulance Service has become very useful in rural areas.
The Chief Minister said the Covid pandemic has become eye-opener in the sense it has highlighted the failures to address the infrastructural needs of the health sector during the last 70 years. The number of beds in hospitals is not in accordance with the number of patients, he said pointing out that in the Hyderabad-Karnataka region there is just one bed for 10,000 patients. "This regional imbalance in facilities must be solved,’’ he said.
He wanted special efforts to improve health infrastructure facilities in backward districts such as Yadgir, Raichuru and Kalaburgi, which also has malnutrition problems among children.
The State has successfully handled the Covid first and second wave despite the inadequacies, he said complimenting all the health warriors for their selfless and committed service.
Bommai felt the ambulances must be equipped with GPS facilities for easy tracking and also must be equipped with essential life-saving medical equipment and also be made to respond to calls within a short time.
Facelift for Arogya Kavacha Scheme
Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr K Sudhakar said out of the 710 ambulances operating in the State under the Arogya Kavacha 108 scheme, as many as 155 were Advanced Life Support Ambulances to which an additional fleet of 120 have been added.
“Ambulance service is an integral part of our healthcare delivery system and plays a vital role in saving lives during emergencies. Our government is committed to expand its network and enhance quality of services,’’ he said.
The Arogya Kavacha which was introduced in 2008 by the then Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa and Health Minister B Sriramulu, will be given a new facelift.
“If latest technologies like GPS, mobile app are adopted, then we can ensure that ambulance reaches the patient within 10 to 15 minutes. The mapping of hospitals helps to identify the nearest available hospitals and also brings in transparency. Now it takes about 30 to 45 minutes for ambulance to reach the patient in urban areas and in rural areas it is even more. We are working to bring down the turnaround time to 10 to 15 minutes by using technology and also increasing the number of ambulances,’’ he said.
At present there are is 1 ambulance for 1 lakh population and we want to increase it to make 1 ambulance for every 45,000 to 50,000 population. We also provide training to drivers and paramedical staff to make the service more people-friendly, said minister.
Dr Sudhakar said Karnataka was administering about 3.8 lakh doses of vaccine each day on an average. “This is more than the number of doses administered in the entire Russia. We are few lakhs short of completing 5 crore doses and we will soon reach this big milestone,’’ he said.
Ministers B Sriramulu, S T Somashekar, B A Basavaraj and Bengaluru Development Authority Chairman S R Vishwanath, BJP MP P C Mohan and others were present at the function.
The Chief Minister later participated in several developmental programmes in Govidarajanagar Assembly constituency, in which Ministers V Somanna, Dr K Sudhakar, R Ashok, B A Basavaraj and K Govindayya as well as Sri Niranjanandapuri Swamiji of Kanakagurupith participated.
The Chief Minister also inaugurated the remodeled Covid 19 pediatric hospital in Jayanagar.