Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah and Union Minister for Health and Medical Education, Ghulam Nabi Azad Sunday underlined modern health facilities significantly important for development of healthy and strong society.
Laying foundation of Medical Collage Hospital for Sant Manjit Singh Institute of Medical Sciences and Research at Jeevan Nagar about 15 kilometres from hear, Omar and Azad said that growth of medical institutes in the state especially in private sector is need of the hour. They said that such institutions help government efforts to upgrade health facilities and enhance medicare coverage.
Omar in his speech said that his government has flagged health sector as one of the most important concerns in the state’s development policy and consolidation along with expansion received priority attention during the last 4 years. He said stress has been laid on improving healthcare facility in rural and far-flung areas by strengthening health institutions and creating required infrastructure.
“It is easy to built buildings and other required infrastructure in villages and difficult areas but placing of manpower to run institutions especially those in health and education sectors has been the concern in Jammu and Kashmir all along”, he said unless a good hospital equipped with necessary equipment is provided with necessary paraphernalia, doctors and specialists, its outcome and benefits to the people will not be up to the mark.
“During the last four years my government has concentrated attention on this aspect and special initiatives have been taken utilizing National Rural Health Mission and other schemes to provide enhanced salaries and other perks to doctors and paramedics to make them serve and stay in hospitals in the rural and difficult areas”, he said adding that to reduce the pressure on city and town hospitals it is imperative to upgrade and improve the health facilities in rural areas and place required doctors and other staff there to make these health institutions fully function.
“It has been observed that even doctors obtaining medical degrees under special categories and dispensations shirk to work in the areas and for the people they were given concessions for in trainings”, he said and added that the service rendered by doctors is pious and they take oath after entering the profession of serving the mankind sincerely and devotedly. He said that the mindset of making medical professional means to realize economic goals needs to be changed. “Doctors are bound by the oath they take for rendering best service to the mankind”, he said and asked them not to convert their holy service into commercial one.
Highlighting the necessity of good health of every member of the society, Omar Abdullah said that creation of colleges, universities, roads, bridges and other facilities and moving forward on road to prosperity will not be meaningful if the society is confronted with health problems and people do not enjoy good and robust health. “It is as such important that health service receives highest attention”, he said and gave details of the initiatives government has taken in this direction. He said healthy Jammu and Kashmir is his earnest mission and all efforts have been put in to achieve this goal.
Expressing his congratulation to the management of the Sant Manjit Singh Trust for taking a pious initiative of developing a Medical Institute and Research Centre near Jammu, Omar Abdullah expressed the hope that it would prove highly beneficial both for rendering modern health services to the people and producing medical graduates of high quality and calibre. He also extended Shivratri greetings to the people on the occasion.
Since the birthday of Omar Abdullah falling on March 10 coincided with the event, as such, the large gathering present on the occasion gave him hearty greetings and standing ovation for sparing time on his special day to be present with them and lay foundation on an important institute linked with the common people.
In his elaborative speech on the occasion, Ghulam Nabi Azad presented details of the new initiatives taken by his Ministry during the last three and a half years to upgrade health facilities in the country. He referred to the amendments made to the Medical Council Act to encourage growth of private sector in the medical field.
Azad said that various restrictions were removed and provisions made soft for private players to invest in medical education sector and expand the modern health facility all across the country. He said 60 percent medical institutes are in private sector in India and most of these are in Maharashtra and Southern States. “We are trying and facilitating growth of these institutions in other areas like Jammu and Kashmir, UP, Bihar and Odisha”, he said and gave details of the concessions being provided by the Union Government in this regard.
Underlining the importance of qualified faculties in medical institutions, the Union Minister said that he has enhanced the retirement age limit of teaching faculty in AIIMS and other Central Medical Institutions in the Country. “I have written to all the Chief Ministers in this regard urging them to take similar steps so that faculties in the State-run institutions remain intact”, he maintained.
The Union Health Minister also referred to the Central scheme introduced for protecting health of pregnant and infants. He said the scheme is under implementation throughout the Country and has shown positive results to reduce the mortality of new born children and pregnant women. He said pregnant women are being provided free transport, medicine, food and treatment under this scheme in government hospitals and each pregnant from villages after delivery gets Rs. 1400 cash while the pregnant women from cities get Rs. 1000 each.
Azad said that his Ministry is extending special grants and help to Jammu and Kashmir to help upgrade health and medical education sector and extend its reach to all areas in the State. He said he has recently sanctioned grants for 200 ambulances for Jammu and Kashmir.