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HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Srinagar, July 03, 2013
Describing healthcare status as the basic indicator of growth and development of a society, chief minister Omar Abdullah on Wednesday said that healthy human resource was vital for comprehensive and all-round growth.
"Unless our children are healthy we cannot think of them taking advantage of educational initiatives and developing as capable citizens to lead the country in future. Similar is the case of our workforce, farmers and the general population,"he said, adding that better medical facilities across the state was essentially important for all sectors to grow and ensure development of a healthy society.

In his inaugural speech at the national summit on 'Best practices and innovations in public healthcare system' at SKICC here, the chief minister said that creation of better infrastructure in the health sector and assuring up to the mark service to people in rural areas was all the more important.

"There are challenges to address this issue in a state like Jammu and Kashmir which presents mosaic of topographical diversities, remoteness of areas and sparse population scattered in mountainous and difficult areas,"he said.

The chief minister said that launch of National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) has helped in a big way to reach out to people in rural areas in the healthcare sector. He said that better perks and salaries being offered to doctors and paramedics under NRHM has enhanced the chances of placing qualified medical staff in the rural areas.

Omar said that during the militancy, the healthcare sector in the state received huge brunt and hospitals were more or less rendered non-functional. "We have rebuilt the system brick by brick and block by block", he said maintaining that a good quality healthcare facilities are being created all across the state.

He said the government was concentrating on hospitals and equipping them with best possible infrastructure and manpower so that they attend to the medical needs of people. He said better medical facilities in rural areas are important to reduce pressure on apex and referral hospitals. He said that NHRM has been a blessing to the state in strengthening the rural healthcare systems.

Expressing concern on the decline in female sex ratio in the state, the chief minister said that this was the area which called for unified approach by the civil society and government departments together.

"If the data collected in this regard is genuinely correct, which we should accept as the correct till it is confronted by more surveys and investigations, we have to gear up at all levels and reverse the unfortunate trend,"he said, asserting that religious leaders, imams of mosques, pujaris in temples, priests in churches, granthies in gurdawaras and heads of other religious places need to sensitize society about the most dangerous evil of female feticide.