Bengaluru: The state government has been considering the proposal to appoint psychiatrists at all taluk hospitals, according to Minister for Health and Family Welfare Ramesh Kumar.
During the Question Hour in the Assembly, Dr Ashwath Narayan, MLA from Malleshwaram, had objected the state government for not facilitating connectivity for the people suffering from stress-related problems. “Thirteen per cent of population suffers from psychiatric problems. One woman out of five women and one male among the 10 males suffer from mental illness. The government has not taken any initiative to address this problem. It has not implemented the National Health Mission in the state,’’ Dr Ashwath Narayan said.
Responding to Dr Aswhath Narayan’s query, Minister Ramesh Kumar said psychiatrists have been working at 20 district hospitals in the state and the government has recruited 22 psychiatrists on contract basis this year. “As of now there are two vacancies of psychiatrists in the state. There are 175 psychiatrists, including Government Medical Colleges and NIMHANS Hospital, working in the state. Till now, the government has been recruiting one psychiatrist for each district. Now, the government would consider the legislator’s proposal to recruit psychiatrists at taluk level,’’ the minister said.
He said there are two types of mental disorder – psychological and psychiatric. “People suffer from mental illness due to hereditary or stress due to the change of lifestyle. The number of people suffering from mental disorder may increase due to the demonetization of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes. I have less contact with mentally ill people but it seems the legislator has more contacts with mentally ill people. If the legislator sends those people to me, I will make arrangements for treatment,’’ he said with a smile.
Replying to query from Umesh Katti, MLA from Hukkeri, the minister said that the health department would take measures to fill up all vacancies of non-medical staffs at all government hospitals by December end.
The minister also said 1388 doctors posts are vacant at various government hospitals in the state. “Doctors are not interested to work in rural areas despite offering Rs 1 lakh salary and Rs 20000 house rent allowance,’’ the minister said.