Guwahati: Assam has emerged as role model in the health sector of the country by implementing the highest number of schemes under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said on Sunday.
Inaugurating the 102 National Ambulance Service and Tele Radiology Project along with other schemes under the NRHM here, the Union Health Minister lauded the state government`s initiative in the health sector which he said would be replicated in other states as well.
"The 102 service would augment the existing 108 ambulance service, which has greatly benefited patients across the country and will provide quality transportation of patients to hospitals", he said.
The ambulance service would respond and reach patients within half an hour, besides transporting pregnant women and infants from home to hospital and if required back to home as well, the Union Minister said.
"The service will facilitate an integrated all- comprehensive health care management providing high end ambulated transportation for appropriate care in the hospital", Azad said.
Azad also launched the Tele Radiology Project, the first in the country to initiate the project under the NRHM.
"We are looking how the project can be implemented in other parts of the country under the Mission", he said.
The Rs 22 crore project has been initiated in 11 districts of the state and the facility would be gradually expanded with patients able to download their reports assessed by experts stationed at Guwahati or Bangalore without taking the trouble of visiting the hospital again, Azad added.
The Union Minister further said that cancer cases have
been increasing in recent years and there was shortage of radiologists in the country but "We plan to initiate the tele radiology project to plug the lacunae".
Azad also inaugurated the National Health Mission Free Drug Service, Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakaram, National Iron Plus Initiative, Assam Mother and Child Tracking System and Mother and Child Health Wings in 14 districts of the state.
The Union Minister said that during the last nine years of UPA`s rule many schemes have been launched across the country, particularly for the development of the rural sector.
"We are focused on providing quality health facilities to the people living in the rural areas and connecting them with the best available medical facilities in the country", he added.
Azad said that the Centre has so far spent more than Rs 95,000 crore for constructing new hospitals and renovating the existing ones.
More than 1.5 lakh doctors and para-medical personnel have been already trained and appointed while nine lakh ASHA workers are working under the NRHM, he said.
"Moreover, schemes are being prepared in such a way that all sectors of people are being benefited, particularly in the case of providing free medicines", Azad added.
The minister also announced that Assam would be given Rs 100 crore to provide 200 types of medicines free to the patients.
Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma were among those who spoke on the occasion.