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Times of India
07 April 2010
Bangalore, India

On the eve of World Health Day, Jannarogya Andolana Karnataka (JAAK), state chapter of Jan Swasthya Abhiyan, demanded enactment of Karnataka Public Health Service Act for universal, comprehensive and free access to health service and regulation of private medical sector in the state.

A recent inspection of Primary Health Centres (PHC) by JAAK members across five districts – Davangere, Haveri, Bagalkote, Belgaum and Bellary – revealed gaping loopholes in the functioning of PHCs across the state.

Though the state government has launched the free ambulance service, patients are asked to pay for diesel; treatment is free but medicines need to be procured from outside, and while Primary Health Centres display 24/7 service message boards doctors are often missing, observed JAAK members.

Other glaring glitches include medical wastes being dumped at the entrance of PHCs, government doctors running private businesses and non–availability of essential drugs.

During an interaction with the media on Tuesday, JAAK members demanded implementation Karnataka Public Health Services Guarantee Act and National Health Act. “While some states like Assam have already enacted the Public Health Services Act and Gujarat is following suit, Karnataka has been reluctant to implement it,” said JAAK member E Premdas.

Though National Rural Health Mission was launched in 2005 and there has been no budget constraints as such, the implementation of the scheme has been pathetic in state.

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