The Union Government on Tuesday asked private sector players to come out of “their comfort zones” to take healthcare programmes to the far-flung rural areas of the country through effective public-private partnerships (PPP).
Responding to the criticism about the disparity of PPP projects, Anuradha Gupta, Additional Secretary in the Union Health Ministry said private sector organisations were not interested in working in the rural areas and were choosing better markets in the urban centres.
“In most rural areas, the private sector is missing. The disparity is because of the absence of well-designed PPP proposals for the particular states,” she said, while chairing a plenary session at the ongoing Global Health Conference on Social Marketing and Franchising.
To a question on whether the Government was willing to open up the Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) programme for the private sector, she said it was premature to take such a decision. “We are not open now, but may be later. We have just taken a policy decision to scale up the programme by giving accreditation to more ASHA workers,” said Gupta, who is also the Mission Director of the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM).
Dr S K Sikdar, Deputy Commissioner, Family Planning in the Union Health Ministry, said the free distribution of contraceptives at the doorsteps has already covered 6.4 lakh villages in the country.
Sikdar said the impact survey had found that 95 percent of women beneficiaries were satisfied about the distribution of contraceptives in the villages. Taking part at the session, “SM & SF with regard to reproductive health”, Director General of IPPF, Tewodros Melesse said his organisation had launched efforts to standardise SM and SF at the global level.
The three-day event, which opened here Tuesday, is being organised by Hindustan Latex Family Planning Promotion Trust.