Sunday, July 14, 2024

Harish steering Arogya Telangana

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PNS | Hyderabad

Typically known as a neglected department, the TS health department under Harish Rao is witnessing a sea change.Guided by the motto of ‘Arogya Telangana,’ changes are clearly visible in the health department, be it the availability of equipment, the flow of drugs, or finance for new facilities.

It was just a year ago in November 2021, that Harish took charge as health minister after Eatala Rajender left. Ever since that, he has kept the health department on its toes.
The Telangana government allocated Rs 11,440 crore to the health department. This was only Rs 6186 crore in 2020-21. Almost everyone accepts that the flow of finance is quicker as Harish is the finance minister also.

Doctors and staff who witnessed his working style say that he wants a “corporate style of working in government hospitals.” Almost every week he is inaugurating something or the other. Of all the recruitment notifications, 950 CAS postings were the quickest.

A government doctor said, “The Minister wants us to function like private hospital doctors which is not usually the case in government. In fact, as Class 4 employees also had salary increases, they have to talk politely to people like private sector employees.”

Some doctors also indicated that he is strict with punishments too. Sources said the health minister is likely to unveil an annual book shortly on achievements of the healthcare sector. Officials said that Harish is a man of numbers. An official said, “Every meeting starts with decreasing C-section deliveries and increasing normal deliveries.

He wants Telangana to be ranked among top states in healthcare. So numbers determine a lot in how to go about with the process. Sometimes in healthcare, it is not always numbers.” Staff said the flow of funds increased under Harish.“Eatala wanted to do something, but his hands were tied. Finance is easier because he is a big leader in the BRS. As the Chief Minister’s close relative he is calling shots in the government as finance minister,” said a doctor.

Dr Mahesh of HRDA said, “He is trying to improve recruitment. But the focus should be on primary healthcare. If that is done, then tertiary care requirements will be very less. When we are competing with Kerala and Tamil Nadu, we should have our focus on primary healthcare. There is still scope for improvement.

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