The Delhi Cabinet on Monday approved a new scheme to overhaul the primary healthcare system in the Capital. This will be called Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) Scheme. It has been formulated on the guidelines of the central government under the National Rural Health Mission.
Under new scheme 5450 activists would be deployed to cover 109 lakh residents of slums, JJ clusters, resettlement colonies, unauthorised colonies and rural villages.
Talking to reporters after the meeting, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit described the new ASHA Scheme the first major exercise in communitisation of primary healthcare which would go a long way in improving the healthcare delivery system.
"ASHA is an incentive-based scheme wherein women who volunteer from local community will be selected and trained to reinforce community action for universal immunization, safe delivery, new born care, prevention of water borne and communicable diseases, improved nutrition and promotion of household/community toilets," she said.
According to the Cabinet note, the activists will inform, interact, mobilise and facilitate improved access to preventive and promotive healthcare and also provide basic curative care through the drug kit provided. Dikshit said the activists would be deployed to cater to the vulnerable areas which have poor health indices.
The government would spend Rs 40 crore for selection, training and incentive of 5450 ASHA activists during the 11th Five Year Plan from 2007 to 2012. Subsequently Rs 8.5 crore per annum on an average would be spent on the scheme.
Institutions in Lal Dora areas: The Cabinet also decided to allow the functioning of the educational and technical institutions in the Lal Dora and extended Lal Dora areas till the zonal plans are finalised. However, no new institutes can come up in the interregnum. The proposal, however, does not cover coaching institutes. Schools have already been permitted to operate in the Lal Dora areas.