New Programmes to Improve Healthcare Delivery: Azad
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05 January 2011
The Centre has launched new national programmes to control cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, stroke, sports injury and health of the elderly, Union health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said today.
"An amount of Rs 1,230 crore has been set apart for the national programme for prevention and control of cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and stroke. Of this, the cancer component will come around Rs 730 crore," he said.
Inaugurating a new super–specialty block built as part of upgrading the Government Medical College here under Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana, he said the Ministry had also taken steps to augment human resources in health sector.
The government expected an overall increase of 10,000 medical post graduate seats in the next two years with several relaxations in rules for running medical colleges. The ministry is currently running a Rs 1,350 scheme to strengthen and upgrade medical colleges for starting new PG courses, which was expected to add 4,000 PG seats to existing pool. "Systematic efforts are also being made to bring the doctor–patient ratio from 1:2000 to 1:1000," Azad said.
The government has relaxed requirement of land for opening medical colleges from 25 to 20 acres. To address the faculty shortage in medical colleges, the maximum age for appointment had been increased from 65 to 70 in private colleges.
Amendments had also been made in MCI rules to allow DNB professionals as medical faculty. Another change was to allow more medical seats to existing colleges. Colleges which had 1,000–bed hospitals and required faculty could apply for upto 250 seats, he said.
To tackle brain drain, the government had also recognised PG degrees obtained from foreign countries like USA, UK, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. To increase availability of doctors in rural areas, MCI rules had been changed to provide 50 per cent reservation in PG diploma medical courses for medical officers working in designated rural areas for three years. Additional marks for each year of rural attachment would also be given to candidates appearing for PG medical entrance tests, Azad said.
The Global Adult Tobacco Survey by the Health Ministry in 2010 had revealed more than 35 per cent of adults in India used tobacco in some form or other. Among them, 21 per cent used smokeless tobacco, nine per cent smoked, while five per cent smoked and used smokeless tobacco, he said.
Innovation and Research were crucial to improve healthcare delivery system and the three key problems to be addressed in the sector were quality, accessibility and affordability, he said.
Azad said there should be greater co–operation between Centre and states to counter the challenges thrown by spread of communicable diseases.