Jammu and Kashmir National Conference President Dr Farooq Abdullah on Saturday called for comprehensive Multi-tier health policy for the state that focuses on reform, saying that the need of the hour is to establish mechanisms that can amplify the availability of health care institutions to people across the state.
Party president while addressing a public meet at Beerwah constituency said that the access to effective health care systems was a major problem in the developing world.
“Our state is geographically very diverse; there is a stark unevenness in the topography of the state. Providing up to date and speedy health care services to the people living in far-flung areas has always been a challenge. However when Sher- e- Kashmir came to power in 1977, the government led by him came up with the innovative idea of ‘barefoot doctors’, wherein teachers serving in the remote areas of the state were given nominal training to cater to the basic health issues of the people. The idea was initiated to provide fundamental health aid to people until they reached the hospital, which in those times had a sparse presence. The health and education sector was always prioritized by successive NC governments. In 1996, when I assumed the office, I took no time to add 300 doctors to the pool of doctors serving the people in the state. The initiative gave a boost to the effort of providing health care to the poorest of poor especially people living in the remote and far-flung areas,” adding, “With each passing year, new inventions are made in the health sector. To ensure the well-being of our people across the state, the government has to work out a multi-pronged policy; one is to establish the health infrastructure and the other one is to ensure research in the field to meet the challenges of future. However, for the poor, the government has to subsidize and finance medical care. I am sure with Omar in the vanguard of the government, the party will revolutionize the health sector in the state, the spokesman quoted Dr Farooq as saying.
On the occasion party president dedicated a critical care ambulance to Sub-district hospital Beerwah. He was accompanied by party vice president Omar Abdullah and political advisor to vice president Tanvir Sadiq. Dr Farooq while addressing the public said that dedicating an ambulance to the area is just a small spec of what party intends to do for the area in particular and the state in general.
Party president further added that the challenge for the forthcoming government was to increase the quality of health care. “Once in power, the NC government under the able and dynamic Omar will ensure heavy emphasis on subsidizing health care for the poor. The party when in power will come up with a course of action towards helping those families whose loved ones are suffering from fatal ailments, besides that the new government will undertake and look after the nutrition and medication of the patients suffering from critical diseases. We in our party firmly believe that people are the source of power and the government is there only to serve them. I am sure we will be able to achieve that anticipated end of revolutionizing the health sector of the state through effective policy interventions and out of pocket spending,” he said.