The much-awaited National Urban Health Mission (NUHM) has finally received the Cabinet’s approval. The `22,507 crore plan was unveiled as a new sub-mission under the over-arching National Health Mission. The NUHM would cover all towns with a population of over 50,000 as against the draft paper which had envisaged coverage of towns with population in excess of one lakh. This has raised the number of towns covered from 450 to 779.
Under the scheme one Urban Primary Health Centre has been envisaged for every 50,000-60,000 population. Similarly bigger cities would have one Urban Community Health Centre for every five to six PHCs.
For every 10,000 people one mid-wife and an accredited social health activist is also envisaged. The Central government is likely to infuse `16,955 crore over the next five years with rest of the money coming from state governments.
States will have to come up with their own plans and road map for NUHM as they had for NRHM and at the moment there are no safe guards built in to the system that may prevent misuse of funds. NUHM proposes to use existing private hospitals and NGO workers through partnership models.
The rural mission had got mired in corruption and controversy in most districts where it was introduced in 2008.