From November, generic medicines in health centres will be given free of cost to medical colleges.

A host of initiatives were launched at the Ernakulam General Hospital on Sunday, by Union Minister of State for Food and Civil Supplies K.V. Thomas and Minister for Health V.S. Sivakumar among others.

These include kicking off the construction work of the new out-patient block using the Rs.1 crore MP fund of Mr. Thomas, the canteen proposed to be built using the MLA fund of Hibi Eden and Ludy Louis, and the foundation stone laying of the sewage-treatment plant. The new ramp sponsored by the Rotary Club of Kochi Downtown and the Centre of Excellence for Safe Injection Practices were inaugurated.

Mr. Sivakumar said that steps will be taken to provide a cochlear implant unit at the hospital, so that more number of children would be able to hear.

Preventive steps

He stated that the hospital is a role model for other hospitals, since it has come up with innovative projects, is clean and has ample facilities. Referring to the measures taken to contain the spread of contagious diseases, he said that more preventive steps must be taken. The Health Department will take the lead in this and seek the support of other departments.

“Diseases like Malaria have staged a comeback in Kerala. Orders have been issued to stock adequate quantity of medicines in all hospitals and health centres. Doctors who fail in their duty will be pulled up. The shortage of staff is being looked into. Government doctors posted in Kasargod are being paid Rs. 20,000 extra and steps would be taken to give this additional amount to those posted in districts like Wayanad.”

Medicine price

Aimed at keeping tab of price of medicines, the State has written to the Centre to fix the price of 350 medicines. (This is 74 now.) Drugs control officials have been asked to intensify their inspection. From November, generic medicines in health centres will be given free of cost to medical colleges.

As many as 35 Karunya medical centres will be opened this year. The price of drugs for cancer and other diseases will be reduced by purchasing them directly from the manufacturer, he said.

In his address, Mr. Thomas spoke of how the hospital has been augmenting facilities with people’s support.

He lauded the role played by the superintendent Dr. Junaid Rahman in launching innovative projects here. Hibi Eden, MLA, attributed the hospital’s success story to the support extended by people’s representatives. Minister for Excise K. Babu and Minister for Public Works Ibrahim Kunju too were among those who spoke.

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