Bangalore, August 16, 2014 – Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Health Minister, began a two day visit to Bangalore today. It is his firstt official visit to Karnataka since assuming office on May 27.

“I will use this opportunity to take stock of the progress of the National Rural Health Mission in Karnataka. I also look forward to meeting Mr U.T.Khader, the Hon’ble Health Minister to discuss how the north-south disparity in health services in the state can be resolved,” Dr Harsh Vardhan said.

The Minister will review the progress on three projects for upgradation of government medical colleges in Karnataka. These are at Bangalore, Bellary and Hubli. The central and state governments are sharing costs on 80-20 basis.

Dr Harsh Vardhan revealed that he has already written to the Chief Minister of Karnataka with a request for land allocation for a new All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) in the state. “Though Karnataka has above average health indicators, I think that an AIIMS is necessary because there is inadequate secondary and tertiary care infrastructure. So if the state government can provide about 200 acres of land I would be happy to send the Ministry’s officials for making a project report as soon as possible,” he added.

The Health Minister said that there is an old proposal to have an institute of public health in Karnataka along the lines of the All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health, Kolkata. Dr Harsh Vardhan will discuss with the state government how to take the idea forward.

The Minister will inaugurate the new ward at National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) to treat and rehabilitate women who are addicted to alcohol and substances.

“I am much concerned about the rising incidence of mental health in the country. We need more NIMHANS-like facilities –at least one per region to begin with. Therefore this visit is for my personal education. I wish to learn from NIMHANS’ director, Dr Satish Chandra, and his team of specialists on what should be done to check this scourge,” Dr Harsh Vardhan said.

The Minister is also to visit the Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana (SVYASA) Deemed University on Anekal Road which houses “Anvesana”, its research foundation.

“Though I am a MS in ENT, I am convinced that Yoga has a great role in integrated medicine. I have great admiration for Drs H.R. Nagendra and R. Nagarathna who have proved the effectiveness of Yoga therapy for health promotion in general and diabetes and hypertension control in particular. They have also made significant strides in holistic medicine through Yoga. That is why I want to have an intensive brainstorming session with them on how to strengthen the public health system of the country with Yoga,” Dr Harsh Vardhan added. CCI Newswire

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