New programs to improve healthcare delivery: Azad
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Last Updated: Wednesday, January 05, 2011, 17:19
Thiruvananthapuram: With a view to radically improving healthcare delivery system in the country, the Centre has launched new national programmes for control of cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, stroke, sports injury and health of the elderly, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Ghulam Nabi Azad said on Wednesday.

Inaugurating the new super-specialty block built as part of the upgradation work of the Government Medical College here under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY), he said the Health Ministry had also taken steps to augment human resources in health sector.

The government expected an overall increase of 10,000 medical post graduate seats in the next two years with several relaxations in rules for running medical colleges.

The ministry was currently running a Rs 1,350 scheme to strengthen and upgrade medical colleges for starting new PG courses, which was expected to add 4,000 PG seats to existing pool. Systematic efforts were also being made to bring the doctor-patient ratio from 1:2000 to 1:1000, Azad said.

The government had relaxed the requirement of land for opening of medical colleges from 25 acres to 20 acres. To address the problem of shortage of faculty in medical colleges, the maximum age for appointment had been increased from 65 to 70 in private colleges.

Amendments had also been made in MCI regulations for allowing DNB professionals as medical faculty. Another change in MCI rules was to allow more medical seats to existing colleges. Colleges which had 1,000-bed hospital and required faculty could apply for upto 250 seats, he said.

In order to tackle brain drain, the government had also recognised PG degrees obtained from foreign countries like USA, UK, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.

To increase availability of doctors in rural areas, MCI rules had been changed to provide 50 percent reservation of seats in PG diploma medical courses for medical officers working in designated rural areas for three years. Additional marks for each year of rural attachment would also be given to candidates appearing for PG medical entrance tests.

On the new initiatives for control of various diseases, Azad said Rs 1,230 crore had been set apart for the national programme for prevention and control of cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and stroke. Of this, the cancer component would come around Rs 730 crore.

The Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) conducted by the Health Ministry in 2010 had revealed that more than 35 percent of adults in India used tobacco in some form or other. Among them, 21 percent used smokeless tobacco, 9 percent smoked, while 5 percent smoked and used smokeless tobacco, he said.

Innovation and research were crucial to improve healthcare delivery system and the three key problems to be addressed in the sector were quality, accessibility and affordability, he said.

Azad said there should be greater co-operation between Centre and states to counter the challenges thrown by spread of communicable diseases.

Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan, who inaugurated the new Outpatient Block at the Medical College, said Kerala had made tremendous progress in the health sector. Besides the medical college in Thiruvananthapuram, facilities in four other colleges were being improved.

A total of 115 community health centres had been developed to match national standards. Adequate number of doctors and paramedical staff had been appointed in various hospitals, he said. State Health Minister P K Sreemathi presided over the function.

The facilities at the Thiruvananthapuram medical college were upgraded under the PMSSY at a cost of Rs 120 crore with the centre contributing Rs 100 crore. The remaining Rs 20 crore was state government's share.


First Published: Wednesday, January 05, 2011, 17:19

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