BHUBANESWAR: The State Government has been focusing on affordable and quality healthcare with a priority on health infrastructure to meet the shortage of health professionals.
After a review by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Health and Family Welfare Minister Pratap Jena said Odisha has made giant strides in the health sector by successfully rolling out free drugs scheme Niramaya and making health insurance universal.
“The Government has spent over Rs 500 crore during 2014-2018 for Niramaya under which over three crore people have benefited. Similarly, about 70 lakh families have been covered with health insurance at a cost of over Rs 800 crore,” he said.
Several health schemes which ensure free healthcare services, including diagnostic services under Nidaan, dialysis under Sahay, ambulance services, chemotherapy and day care facilities for cancer patients, eye care under Sunetra, maintaining cleanliness and hygienic at health facilities under Nirmal and specialist services in urban clinics under Ama Clinic have been launched. This apart, transportation allowances and free blood for blood disorder patients, provision of Rs 1000 as transport assistance to mothers from difficult areas coming for institutional delivery and free sanitary napkins for school girls under Khusi have also been introduced.
“We have achieved drastic reduction in malaria through DAMaN programme and improved institutional delivery, immunisation and reduced infant mortality rate through Sampurna Scheme. Digital dispensaries have also been set up for providing Tele-medicine services in hard to reach and tribal dominated areas,” Jena said.
While 2,662 new posts of doctors and 5,719 new posts of paramedics have been created, place-based incentives provided to attract doctors to serve in difficult areas besides social security for ASHA workers. Under infrastructure development programme, four new medical colleges have been established at a cost of over Rs 600 crore.
The Chief Minister has directed the officials to expedite filling up of vacancies and closely monitor all schemes to ensure their effective implementation.