Andhra Pradesh: Health Minister assumes office

Satya Kumar vows to make Andhra Pradesh cancer-free State & strengthen govt hospitals
Health Minister Y Satya Kumar assumes office at Secretariat on Sunday.
Health Minister Y Satya Kumar assumes office at Secretariat on Sunday.Photo | Express

VIJAYAWADA : Dharmavaram BJP MLA Y Satya Kumar took charge as the Minister for Health & Family Welfare and Medical Education at the Secretariat in Amaravathi on Sunday.

Upon assuming office, he emphasised the immediate goal of making Andhra Pradesh a cancer-free State, outlining several measures to be implemented towards this end. He signed several crucial files, including the initiation of health screening for youth under 18 years through the Central government’s Rashtriya Bal Swasthya programme.

Additionally, Satya Kumar approved a file for conducting cancer screenings for 5.30 crore people in the State, aiming to raise awareness and provide medical assistance for oral, breast, and cervical cancers. He was welcomed by Principal Secretary (Health) MT Krishnababu upon his arrival.

Earlier on Sunday, he visited Goddess Durga temple with his family and offered prayers. He then proceeded directly to the Secretariat to assume his duties.

Speaking on the occasion, the new minister criticised the previous administration for neglecting the health sector and undermining initiatives like Aarogyasri. He pledged transparency and accountability in the department and announced plans to release a white paper on departmental activities, promising to investigate any misappropriation of funds during former Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy’s tenure. He alleged that the previous government had diverted funds allocated by the Central government without providing the State’s quota funds. He also pointed out that the government diverted NREGA funds which were particularly allocated for the development of infrastructure in the villages.

Satya Kumar highlighted the alarming rate of cancer-related deaths in the State, averaging 48,000 annually, and noted that spending on cancer treatment through Aarogyasri had risen from Rs 150 crore three to four years ago to Rs 600 crore in the last fiscal year. The minister stressed the importance of early detection through mass screenings to mitigate this health crisis.

His next priority is to enhance medical facilities across all the government hospitals, from Primary Health Centres (PHCs) to Community Health Centres (CHCs).

This includes ensuring adequate infrastructure and medical equipment availability, as well as setting up village clinics in collaboration with ASHA and ANM workers to improve healthcare accessibility in rural areas.

Expressing gratitude to the people for electing the NDA government, Kumar thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu for their support and trust. He also acknowledged the voters of Dharmavaram for their role in his journey from a BJP activist to MLA and now a ministerial appointment.

He outlined his vision to lead the State towards progress over the next five years, focusing on economic recovery, non-discriminatory welfare policies, and supporting the leadership of the Prime Minister and the Chief Minister.

Regarding healthcare improvements, the minister assured that the government is committed to providing adequate staff and infrastructure in all government hospitals.

He mentioned plans to study models implemented by AIIMS Mangalagiri to enhance treatment capabilities and ensure quality healthcare services for all residents of the State.

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