Pinarayi Vijayan | Photo: Mathrubhumi
Thiruvananthapuram: Attacks against health workers are unacceptable and those endangering their lives will be dealt with strictly, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said here on Thursday a day after his government approved an ordinance aimed at protecting the professionals working in the health services sector.
The Chief Minister said there will be no compromise on the part of the government in ensuring safety of those working in the health sector.
"Attacking health workers is not acceptable. It has been decided that those endangering the lives of health workers would be dealt with strictly," Vijayan said, after declaring the launch of 5,409 public health centres (PHCs) at the Pirappancode Public Health Centre here.
He said the killing of Dr Vandana Das shocked the conscience of Kerala while adding that such incidents lead to a wrong image of the state being shared before the world.
Speaking along similar lines, Health Minister Veena George said violence against health workers "would not be tolerated under any circumstances" and that is why the Kerala cabinet has approved the new ordinance carrying stringent punishments.
Dr Das was brutally stabbed to death by a patient at a taluk hospital in Kollam district last week. G Sandeep, a teacher, is accused of killing her and is presently in police custody in connection with the case.
At the event, Vijayan said the ordinance has been approved to ensure safety of the health workers.
Regarding the PHCs inaugurated by him, the Chief Minister said these centres would give a boost to the state's public health system as the intention behind it was to provide comprehensive primary healthcare at the grassroots level.
Annual check-ups, other health campaigns and disease prevention activities as part of second phase activities of 'Aardram Mission' will also be implemented at the grassroots level through PHCs, he said and added that sub-centre welfare committees have been formed to strengthen such centres.
The PHCs would be open six days a week from 9 am to 4 pm, a statement issued by the Health department said.
With the addition of mid-level service providers in addition to ASHA workers, more services can be provided through the sub-centres, it said.
It further said that while telemedicine would be made available at the sub-centres, nine types of lab tests and 36 varieties of medicines would be available at the PHCs.