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The state government has chalked out a master plan to set up 1,500 primary health centres and sub–centres across the state. It also plans to establish eight new medical colleges to strengthen the network of public health care facilities, said chief minister Prithviraj Chavan on Thursday.

"The Rajiv Gandhi Jeevandayi Arogya Yojana, which currently covers eight districts, will be implemented in the remaining 25 districts from next month. The scheme allows quality tertiary care medical services to low–income families at designated private hospitals. We have also started setting up diagnostics imaging facilities at state–run hospitals on public–private–partnership basis. Besides, the state is also ready to launch its emergency medical services with a fleet of ambulances to enhance access to critical care," Chavan said.

The CM said that even as efforts were being made to strengthen public health care, private health sector played an equally crucial role. "Public health sector cannot do enough; we need help from private hospitals to fill gaps in medical services. We are ready to support them by way of allowing extra floor space index (FSI) to private hospitals," Chavan said.

Emphasizing the need to strengthen medical tourism in the state, Chavan said that private hospitals with world class facilities have a definite role to boost medical tourism. "We need hospitals of all types. Medical facilities providing world class medical services fetch foreign exchange. If we do not have such hospitals, people who can afford them will go to places where such facilities exist," he said, after inaugurating Ruby Hall Clinic’s new boutique hospital at Wanowrie, which primarily caters to medical needs of foreigners and high–end clientele and aims to play an active role in promoting state’s medical tourism.

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Public health sector cannot do enough; we need help from private hospitals. We are ready to support them by way of allowing extra floor space index to private hospitals

In August, the chief minister set up a high–level committee headed by additional chief secretary (medical education) Anand Kulkarni for promotion of medical tourism. Asian heart institute director Ramakant Panda, Ruby Hall Clinic’s managing trustee P K Grant, J J hospital dean T P Lahane and medical education director Praveen Shingare are among the members of the committee.

Cardiologist Parvez Grant, managing trustee of Ruby Hall Clinic, expressed confidence that with the support of the state government, private hospitals which have world class facilities will beat most states in promoting medical tourism in Maharashtra in the next two years.

State forest minister Patangarao Kadam, alos present at the event, said that private hospitals should subsidise charges of medical care for the poor and needy. ‘Airport will come up at Chakan’

Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan on Thursday said the state government is putting all necessary efforts to set up the international airport in Chakan at the earliest.

"The state government has already initiated action with respect to acquisition of land required for the airport project as well as granting of permissions and clearances related to environment. The entire process is in its final stages," said Chavan while speaking at a seminar organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry.

Times of India
27 Sep 2013

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