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Highlighting the need to make mental healthcare accessible to all, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai appealed to the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) to expand their footprint in the State through regional centres. He said the state government would support the initiative in all ways. He was addressing the 25th Convocation of NIMHANS in the city on Sunday.

Earlier at the event, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Mansukh L. Mandaviya, who is also president, NIMHANS, spoke about how resources at the premiere health institute are stretched thin. “During my morning walk on the premises on Sunday, I spoke to a few people at the X-ray centre. One of them told me he had to wait for five days to get an X-ray. You, the students passing out, must question why this man and his attendant who have travelled all the way from their village forgoing their wages, can’t get an X-ray on the same day,” he said.

Responding to the issue flagged by the Union Health Minister, Mr. Bommai recounted how he could not secure a ventilator for a critically ill patient at NIMHANS recently and announced that the Karnataka Government would donate 100 ventilators in two phases. “People from all across south India come to NIMHANS and hence the resources here are limited. Why should a person wait for five days to get an X-ray? I request the director to requisition adequate X-ray machines to ensure everyone gets their X-ray reports on the same day. I also request NIMHANS to expand its footprint in the state and open regional centres, like Jayadeva and Kidwai hospitals,” he said.

“We are coming out with a health vision for the state in which I will include regional centres of NIMHANS. The vision policy will stress on mental healthcare,” the CM said. He suggested NIMHANS design a dedicated course and programme to address stress faced by women.

Dr. Mandaviya, who presented degrees to students, said all doctors need to work with the motto of serving the country.