Jammu, Jan 23: Describing the health as a key sector concerning people’s wellbeing, Minister for Health and Medical Education, Bali Bhagat on Tuesday said the government’s focus is to provide prescribed patient care in each category of state’s 4400 health institutions.
Winding up discussion on the Demand for Grants of the Health and Medical Education Department and responding to issues raised by the members in the Legislative Assembly, the Minister said strengthening of diagnostic and infrastructural facilities with adequate staff is being flagged as top priority.
He said buildings are also being constructed for all health centre’s lacking accommodation.
Bhagat said, manpower and resources always remained the prime concern and challenge for the Government, due to which the desired quality and quantity of services could not be maintained at the grassroots level.
He said J&K has a unique topography, scattered population in hilly areas, even with such odds the department has been making constant efforts to improve the services and reaching to every single person to provide this basic facility.
For overcoming the paucity of manpower, the Minister said that 656 vacancies (including doctors/specialists) have been referred to the PSC, while 1471 doctors (MBBS/Specialists/AYUSH/Dental) have been engaged under NHM to supplement the services at different levels.
Listing the major initiatives taken to give further fillip to the health services, he informed that GoI has sanctioned 2 AIIMS and 5 Medical Colleges in the state.
“The work on establishment of 2 AIIMS at Awantipora in Kashmir and Vijaypur in Jammu is being expedited besides, works on all 5 Medical Colleges being established at Anantnag, Baramulla, Doda, Kathua & Rajouri is in full swing,” he said.
He said the Government has created 3375 posts of doctors, faculty members, para-medics and other ministerial staff for the new Colleges and also referred these to the concerned recruitment agencies.
Elaborating on the status of these colleges, Bali said that till date, an amount of Rs 54 crore has been utilized on these projects.
“Medical Council of India has enhanced the intake capacity of PG seats from 184 to 251 which is also a significant achievement of the government”, he added.
Out of total allocation of Rs 900 crore under PMDP for infrastructure upgradation in existing health institutions, R275 crore has been released during the year 2016-17 and for balance amount of R267.33 crore, 27 new infrastructure projects have been submitted to GoI.
To further strengthen the health infra, work on 61 hospital projects out of 113 ongoing projects across the state stands completed during 2016-17, the Minister said adding that similarly, under Capex Budget, works on 62 major projects at an estimated cost of R404.24 crore are under execution, against which, R149.71 crore has been utilized upto ending March, 2017.
During the current financial year, an amount of R 40.49 crore has been approved for these projects and as many as 7 projects are likely to be completed during the current fiscal, while 15 to be completed in 2018-19, he replied.
The Minister further informed that work on construction of 2 State level Cancer Institutions at the cost of R120.00 crore each to be established at SKIMS Soura, Srinagar and GMC, Jammu is under execution.
To further strengthen the ambulatory network in the state and to procure 136 Basic Life Support (BSL) ambulances, R13.47 crore has been released by GoI.
Moreover, the department has also purchased 24 Critical Care Ambulances during 2016-17 which have been pressed into service to provide emergency ambulance services to the people.
For strengthening the infrastructure of food laboratories in the state, the government has procured 5 fully equipped Mobile Food Testing Vans during 2017-18.
“This significant move has helped the Food Control Organization to undertake testing of food articles in the rural and far-flung areas. These vans have been deployed in twin capital cities to reduce the food adulteration”, he added.
The drug testing laboratories are also being upgraded under central assistance for R12.10 crore has been released; the Minister said adding that the Modern Drug & Food Testing Laboratory at Lakhanpur, Kathua has been proposed to be established through Central Assistance at a cost of Rs 34.00 crore.
Bali said that government has strengthened the Jammu and Kashmir Medical Supplies Corporation Limited (JKMSCL). It has supplied drugs worth R87.02 crore, Machinery & Equipment worth R 6.19 crore & other items (Instruments) amounting to R90.00 lakh during 2017-18 besides, purchase orders of drugs for 2018-19 amounting to Rs 59.39 crore has also been issued.
Referring to the issues of NHM employees who were agitating for some days in support of their demands, the Minister said that the department has resolved all genuine issues amicably. Further to address their issues, the Government will constitute an inter-departmental committee to look after their grievances including their regularization in phased manner.
The Government has already taken some important decisions for the welfare of the NHM employees including enhancement of 8% increment, extension of EPF, Accidental Insurance Scheme benefits, paid maternity leave to female employees, paid medical leave for one month etc. The issues like creation of revolving funds to support the kin of NHM employees who die in harness and allied facilities will be examined sympathetically by the Government, he added. Later, the House passes grants worth R352893.46 lakh for the Health and Medical Education department with voice vote.