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The Hindu
19 July 2009
Jammu, India

With a view to address the health problems of underprivileged people, the Jammu and Kashmir government today announced provision of free medicare and other facilities to senior citizens and weaker sections of the society.

This was stated by state Health, Horticulture and Floriculture Minister Sham Lal Sharma while speaking at a function here.

He said instructions have been issued to concerned authorities to ensure that all people living below poverty line having valid (BPL) certificates and senior citizens in the state were provided with free medicare facilities, including laboratory tests and ambulance service, in all the government hospitals.

The minister said he asked the CMOs/BMOs to undertake frequent tour and take stock of functioning of health institutions in rural and other far-flung areas.

“Bottlenecks, if any noticed by them, should be either cleared by them during the tour or to be brought to the notice of higher authorities for quick redressal,” he said.

Noting that the ‘referral system’ has to be checked in letter and spirit, Mr. Sharma said the concerned officials were asked to adhere to the standing instructions strictly.

“All the referred cases should have genuine reasons and heads of the institutions shall maintain proper record of such cases and information thereof would be sent to the Director Health Service and personal section of the minister,” he said.

The Heath minister has also directed officers to further improve work culture in health institutions and ensure punctuality of staff.

He said steps were taken to ensure night stay of doctors and para-medical staff in rural institutions to meet emergencies, saying the government is providing better working environment at such health institutions including residential accommodation.

Noting that performance, merit and suitability will be linked with with promotion and postings of doctors, Mr. Sharma, however, warned that under performers will have to face the consequences and even will be debarred from further promotion.

In order to keep a check on the sale of spurious and unlawful medicines in the market and to recognize bonafide chemist, the minister issued instructions to the controller drugs to ensure that all the qualified people associated with the sale of medicines should maintain proper dress code like wearing of Aprons in their business establishments during the working hours within 15 days, failing which they will face action warranted under law.

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