CM Siddaramaiah announced special measures to meet nutritional requirements of the people suffering from HIV infection and Tuberculosis (TB). He proposed an outlay of Rs 5,421 crore for the Department of Health and Family Welfare and Medical Education.
“Nutritional support will be provided through fair price shops to over 70,000 TB patients and 93,000 HIV AIDS patients across the state,” announced the CM.
The move was welcomed by doctors as they felt these allocation will have a wider reach than cash subsidies. General physician Dr B C Rao said: “Most of the HIV and TB patients are from Below Poverty Line (BPL) families. If they are given cash subsidies they tend to spend it in the wrong manner. The best way is to provide them with food.” He announced that a generic drug store, AYUSH health unit, dialysis unit and residential care facility for the mentally ill will be set up in one taluk in each district. “Many sections of the population badly need health schemes. But since they do not fall in the BPL bracket they cannot get coverage from existing schemes for tertiary care. We will launch a new scheme with insurance and contribution for this population,” he said.
The CM also announced that a new rehabilitation scheme will be introduced for endosulfan victims after a survey at coastal Karnataka. Also free health treatment and services will be provided to all freedom fighters in state government hospitals. He announced the opening of four new medical colleges in Karwar, Kodagu, Koppal and Chamarajnagar under RGUHS.