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Govt to opt for private players in health sector

HEALTH MINISTER Ajai Vishnoi today mooted public-private partnership as a last ditch effort by the government to streamline medical services in backward areas.

india Updated: Jul 21, 2006 13:48 IST

HEALTH MINISTER Ajai Vishnoi today mooted public-private partnership as a last ditch effort by the government to streamline medical services in backward areas.

Addressing a press conference at hotel Apsara today, Vishnoi acknowledging the lack of services in rural and tribal areas due to the failure of the government to draw MBBS doctors and private hospitals thereof, suggested handing over existing unutilised government facilities to interested private players.

Taking the concept of disinvestment a step further he stated that government hospitals up to the smallest unit having a bad report card of underperformance, understaffed and unable to meet the requirement of the local populace would under this proposed scheme be given to willing partners from the private sector.

The existing infrastructure (manpower and machines) would be at the disposal of the private operators who would be paid by the government on the basis of their performance, which would be regularly monitored.

This alone would be the differentiating factor from the disinvested Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) where the government sells sick units forever in return for money, while here the units would be handed over for a certain time period and the government would bear the operational costs as before, the minister said.

The proposed scheme though only at the conceptualisation stage would enhance efficiency by removing red-tapism and help provide quality service, which is increasingly becoming the benchmark of the new face of the Indian corporate world, he said.

A precursor of the proposed scheme is functioning in the form of mobile hospitals running in 89 blocks of the State, which the Chief Minister wishes to increase to 100. The private players wishing to open hospitals in such areas or operate mobile hospitals are being welcomed.

He spoke in detail about the various government schemes and recounted the achievements made by the department. The new enactment allowing a female kin of a pregnant woman inside the labour room was instrumental in reducing mother and infant mortality rates.

Vishnoi said that apparently the disease afflicting certain pockets of the city in the preliminary tests run by the health department did not indicate presence of ‘chickun guniya’. The health teams have been cautioned and medical camps are being held in the affected areas, while the samples would be sent as a precautionary measure to NICD, New Delhi.

The outbreak of ‘chickun guniya’ had been proven in some districts of the division 150 cases had tested positive in Sendhwa and Pansemal, which were being contained to the confinement of that area.

Though he did not visit the states biggest government hospital- Maharaja Yeshwant Rao Hospital (MYH) it came in for discussion on several counts. The minister-taking cognisance of the report on administering putrid medicine said that the medicine had not reached expiry date and the matter was being investigated. If the local manufacturer producing the drug was found guilty appropriate action including cancellation of license would be taken.

MYH Superintendent Dr DK Jain later informed him that all the vials of the eye drop Ciprex was not spoilt. The medicine had not reached its expiry date and its maintenance was relatively easy as it is kept at room temperature.

The Food and Drugs department had informed him that only one bottle from the entire case of vials seized was spoilt from heat possibly due to being kept near a heater.

The minister also assured that CT Scan and MRI machines would be procured soon and the MYH authorities were in talks with WIPRO for arranging finance for the same. The matter is expected to be finalised after the General Council (GC) meeting to be held shortly.

Vishnoi said that he had come to know about the allocation of only 15 seats instead of the 21 seats under the All India Quota in the MBBS/BDS seats at Mahatma Gandhi Medical College (MGM) by The Directorate General Health Services (DGHS), New Delhi.

He assured to take up the matter in the interest of the State with the DGHS during his visit to Delhi on Monday. He announced the intent of the government of taking action against fake doctors by imposing a fine of Rs one lakh or three-years Rigorous Imprisonment (RI).

The common public would also be entitled to lodge a complaint with the police against fake doctors on which necessary investigative action would be taken. The Supreme Court in a ruling has authorised private colleges to hold counselling and determine fees for which a committee under a former Justice has been constituted for both purposes respectively.

The Minister inaugurated an intellect development centre at Swami Parmanand Hospital, visited Mental Hospital at Banganga, Government Cancer Hospital and Manorma Raje Chest and TB centre.

He also a chaired an informal meeting with MGM Dean Dr VK Saini, Dr Jain, deputy superintendent Dr Verma, CMHO Dr KK Vijayvergiya Chest Centre incharge Dr Atul Kharate and others.