K’taka health, medical depts to jointly fight Covid: Minister

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Bengaluru, 14 Oct 2020: Karnataka’s health and medical education departments would jointly fight Covid-19 across the state, said its minister K. Sudhakar on Tuesday, a day after he was entrusted with both ministries in a minor cabinet reshuffle on Monday.


“Better coordination between health and medical education departments would streamline our efforts to contain the pandemic in the state,” Sudhakar told reporters here after meeting Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa, who shifted senior cabinet minister B. Sriramulu to the Social Welfare ministry from health & family welfare ministry.


Deputy Chief Minister Govind Karjol was holding the social welfare ministry in addition to the public works department.


“As health & family welfare and medical education departments are integral, synergy in their working will result in better administration of healthcare in the state,” asserted Sudhakar in the presence of Sriramulu.


For technical and administrative reasons, district health officers report to the health minister, while heads of state-run and private medical colleges report to the medical education minister though they all work for the well-being of the people.


“In many states, both the departments work under one ministry. They were separated two decades ago during the Congress government under S.M. Krishna in 2,000 for some other reasons,” a senior official recalled.


As Sudhakar is a medical doctor by profession, the chief minister entrusted the work related to containing the pandemic to him, especially in Bengaluru, which is the epicentre of the virus in the southern state.


Sudhakar, 47, a legislator from Chikkaballapur assembly segment, about 60km northeast of Bengaluru, defected to the BJP from the Congress after he resigned in July 2019 as a rebel. He got re-elected from the same constituency in the December 5 by-elections in the state.


In a related development, Sudhakar assured former chief minister and Janata Dal-Secular leader H.D. Kumaraswmay that the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences campus would be set up soon at Ramanagara, which is the assembly segment of the former.


“Though a cabinet decision was taken to set up the health university campus at Ramanagara in 2007, its implementation got delayed due to litigation over the land acquired for it. As the court has quashed the case against it, a tender for building the campus has been approved by our cabinet in 2019,” added Sudhakar after Kumaraswamy met him at the state secretariat here.



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