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Yediyurappa consulted Sriramulu and me before Cabinet rejig, says K. Sudhakar

Minister for Medical Education K. Sudhakar, who has been allocated the Health and Family Welfare portfolio, on Monday said Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa had discussed the issue last week with him and B. Sriramulu, who was handling the Health Department.

“Mr. Sriramulu, who was also looking after Backward Classes Welfare along with Health, was given an important portfolio of Social Welfare on his request,” said Dr. Sudhakar, who will now be handling both the Medical Education and Health Departments for containing the spread of COVID-19. The Social Welfare portfolio was with Deputy Chief Minister Govind Karjol.

Speaking to reporters here, Mr. Sudhakar said the Health and Family Welfare and Medical Education Departments in the State have independent Ministers, but the departments at the Centre and in most States have one Minister. When there was no upper limit for the Cabinet, the portfolios were bifurcated to accommodate more ministerial aspirants. But for technical and administrative reasons, both should be handled by one Minister, he said.

While thanking the Chief Minister for “trusting” him with the Health portfolio, Dr. Sudhakar said he would strive to improve the public healthcare system in the State. “Healthcare management is a challenge. I wish to establish something like the Kerala model of healthcare in the State or even a better one for making our State a leader in public medical care,” he said.

On his meeting with the Chief Minister on the Dasara celebrations, the Minister said that Mr. Yediyurappa had said that the festivities should not become a reason for the spread of COVID-19. The emphasis was on simple celebrations adhering to traditional aspects, he said. “He [the CM] has told us to tackle the pandemic in Mysuru, where the positivity rate and death rate have gone up.”

Earlier, Dr. Sudhakar, who chaired a meeting with officials and doctors from his departments, said efforts were being made to increase the beds in government hospitals here from 600 to 800 and to address the matter of staff scarcity. Private hospitals have been strictly told to set aside 50% of their beds for COVID-19 management. The focus is now on bringing the death rate to less than 1%, he added.

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