BHUBANESWAR: While more than 30 per cent of the sanctioned strength of doctors is lying vacant in the State, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday announced a Rs 50 crore special scheme to reduce maternal mortality rate (MMR) and infant mortality rate (IMR) in inaccessible pockets.
The announcement of the new scheme was made by the Chief Minister after presiding over an annual meeting of the State Health Mission (SHM) here. “A special initiative for reduction of IMR and MMR in difficult areas of the State will be rolled out with an annual budget of Rs 50 crore,” the Chief Minister told mediapersons after the meeting.
While the MMR in the State is 222 per one lakh deliveries, the IMR has come down to 51 per 10,000 children born in the State. Both these figures are more than the national average. Though the State Government has brought down the IMR by almost 50 per cent during the last one decade, the problems persist in inaccessible and tribal dominated pockets.
Health facilities do not exist in the tribal dominated inaccessible areas of the State because of vacancies in the posts of doctors and medical staff in primary health centres (PHCs). Benefit of many health schemes launched by the State government do not reach the people because of lack health infrastructure in these areas.
Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak said that the State Government will give appointment to nearly 400 doctors to be mainly posted in KBK, KBK plus and other tribal areas soon. He said that the situation has improved after the State Government announced new incentives for the doctors.
Official sources said that the State Government has identified inaccessible areas where Rs 50 crore will be spent for reduction of IMR and MMR. The Government will identify the high risk mothers through its rural health workers and provide special attention towards healthy and smooth deliveries.
The Chief Minister also announced that provisions of minimum diagnostic facilities will be available for the needy people at all PHCs. Such facilities will be provided in a phased manner in all the health care centres in the State, he said.
“The State Government is moving towards the holistic and comprehensive health care for our needy people by effective implementation of free medicine distribution scheme like Niramaya Yojana along with health insurance plan of Biju Krushak Kalyan Yojana and Odisha State Treatment Fund”, he added.