KL NEWS NETWORK
In a significant step towards upgrading healthcare infrastructure in remote areas to ensure better public delivery, Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Thursday ordered setting up of pilot ‘Model Peripheral Hospitals’ in all districts of the state.
He said the availability of doctors and paramedical staff in hospitals is as important as modernisation of health centres. “A well-defined healthcare system has to be in place to cater to the needs of people in villages, towns and cities,” he said, while chairing a high-level review meeting of the Health & Medical Department (H&MED), here today.
Deputy Chief Minister, Dr Nirmal Singh and Minister for Health & Medical Education, Ch. Lal Singh, were also present on the occasion.
Stressing upon optimal utilization of existing infrastructure to save costs on civil construction, Mufti Sayeed said our prime objective should be to convert CHCs and PHCs into Model Hospitals with main focus on providing maternity and childcare services at the primary level. “The government will approach Centre for funding, once the pilot projects are up and running,” he said, while insisting upon making healthcare accessible, affordable and qualitative.
In order to reduce referrals and decentralize emergency and casualty management system, the Chief Minister also passed directions for upgrading three district hospitals in each division by providing additional manpower, particularly in gynaecology & obstetrics, anaesthesia, paediatrics, orthopaedics, general surgery, medicine and radiology.
He asked the Health Department to work out the financial implications and prepare a comprehensive proposal for funding by the Finance Department.
Under the Model Hospital Plan, the government envisages augmentation of manpower in peripheral healthcare centres by addition of five consultants and three medical officers.
Referring to the setting up of a new paediatric hospital in Srinagar, Mufti Sayeed directed that, till such time an independent paediatric hospital is established in close proximity of Lal Ded Maternity Hospital, the government will construct two floors, dedicated entirely to paediatric care, at under-construction maternity hospital at Bemina.
On the issue of requirement of trained paramedic staff in our hospitals, the Chief Minister highlighted the need to establish new nursing colleges, as per norms fixed by the Nursing Council of India. He directed the Vice Chancellors of Jammu and Kashmir Universities to establish nursing colleges in their respective satellite campuses by utilizing their already-available infrastructure, keeping in view the rising demand for skilled workforce in the health sector. He desired that nursing colleges should also be established at the capital cities of Jammu and Srinagar to meet the growing requirement of paramedical staff.
Expressing serious concern over the challenge posed by rising drug abuse among youth, Mufti Sayeed asked the Commissioner / Secretary, H&MED, to set-up ‘Counselling Centres’ at all district hospitals in the state. “It is primarily the responsibility of the Health Department to address the menace of drug abuse, which has a huge social stigma attached to it,” he said.
Earlier, IGP Crime informed the Chief Minister that Police Department is already running four de-addiction centres at Jammu, Srinagar, Islamabad and Barmulla districts.
Taking a feedback on the status of establishing five new medical colleges in the state, the Chief Minister asked the Chief Secretary to expedite transfer of land to the Health Department so that the Union Health & Family Welfare Ministry is approached for funding.
The Chief Minister was informed that Rs.189 crore will be spent on construction of newly-sanctioned medical colleges at Baramulla, Islamabad, Doda, Kathua and Rajouri. He was also briefed about the creation of a corpus fund of Rs. 1 crore each at Jammu and Srinagar to make financial assistance available to patients suffering from terminal diseases.
In his address, Dr. Nirmal Singh called upon the Health Department to ensure that flagship programmes like National Health Mission and those related to protection of mother and childcare should be able to reach all parts of the state, with focus on far-flung areas. “The Health Department will have to generate awareness amongst common masses about schemes like Janani Suraksha Yojana and Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakaram,” he added.
Ch. Lal Singh briefed the Chief Minister about the steps taken by the department in making J&K a hub of advance healthcare services. He said the functioning of the department will further improve with augmentation of manpower through PSC and SSB and procurement of equipment and medicines.
The Health Minister also informed the Chief Minister that the infant mortality rate in the state was lower than the national average.
Immediately after the meeting ended, the Chief Minister distributed certificates amongst pass-out youth who have been trained in various paramedic institutes.