Kaul Singh takes charge, gets medical education with health

Former state Congress president Kaul Singh Thakur was on Monday evening allotted the medical education portfolio in the new Himachal Pardesh government. This comes on a day when he assumed charge as the Minister for Health and Family Welfare and Revenue.

Early in the day, Thakur had held an hour-long meeting with Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh. "Health and medical education are are integral departments and have to go together. The portfolio is not new to me, as I had held the departments during my ministerial stint in 1985-1990," he said.

"Portfolio has never been a big issue for me. I had held several important departments during all my earlier terms and also been the Assembly Speaker and PCC president for four years. It was more a question of my dignity and political stature, which I had acquired in and outside Himachal. I have always shown results in my work. Now, since I have been given the task of the health sector, I assure you it will become a model in all terms infrastructure, services and patient care," he added.

Saying that rural areas were in a state of neglect despite crores funds provided by the Centre under National Rural Health Mission, Thakur said: "Instead of utilising the funds to upgrade facilities and provide doctors in rural areas, the BJP government had diverted those funds to urban hospitals. I will work out a road map to provide better healthcare to the people in rural areas, even if we have to provide more incentives to doctors opting to serve in far-flung areas."

Thakur further said innovative plans are on cards for the two government sector medical colleges Indira Gandhi Medical College and Dr Rajendra Prasad Medical College in Tanda (Kangra).

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