It will address health issues at the grassroots

Karnataka became the first State in the country to launch a Health Adalat on Tuesday to address health issues at the grassroots and ensure all health facilities extended by the government reached all sections of society.

Health and Family Welfare Minister U.T. Khader, who launched the adalat here, heard people on the problems they encountered in obtaining facilities in government hospitals and also availing themselves of benefits under other programmes.

Mr. Khader said that the State government thought of launching the adalat following complaints voiced in the media by the public about the lack of facilities in government hospitals.

The move was also aimed at narrowing the gap between the Health Department and the elected representatives who function as a bridge between the government and the people. “The adalat will also provide an opportunity to health officials to introspect on the implementation of government programmes,” he added.

Mr. Khader said that several programmes, including the school health programme under which doctors should regularly visit schools to assess the health status of all children, are not known to the people. Under the programme, if schoolchildren require medical care, they should be referred to a government hospital and provided free treatment. Every school should have a health card for every one of their students.

Chincholi MLA Umesh Jadav and elected representatives from the Gulbarga Zilla Panchayat, including Leader of Opposition Sanjeev Yakapur, complained that none of the government programmes have been given any publicity and that they were not aware of school health programme. Taking exception to the functioning of the Health and Family Welfare Department, Mr. Khader pulled up the officials in-charge of the school health programme and directed the department to hold a workshop for elected representatives and provide them with details of all government programmes.

When representatives of different organisations and the people complained about the shortage of doctors and lack of treatment facilities in health centres and hospitals, the Minister said that the Health and Family Welfare Department should organise taluk-level health camps to extend the benefits of the Vajpayee Arogyashree programme to the needy.