Each department head in government hospitals in the State will have to submit a fortnightly report on surgeries, major and minor, besides the list of persons seeking treatment, including outpatients, to the Health Secretary.

Health Minister M.R.K. Panneerselvam announced this at the launch of the World Hepatitis Awareness Week at the Government General Hospital here on Saturday. Such reports would help the Health department develop database on various aspects pertaining to healthcare, including on persons seeking treatment under the Kalaignar insurance scheme.

Calling for awareness of viral infections, the Minister said since last year the State spent Rs.1.20 crore to vaccinate newborns to protect them from Hepatitis B infection. About 90 per cent of the newborns had received the vaccine, he said.

Mr. Panneerselvam released a book ‘Kudipazakkamum Makkalum,' authored by K. Narayanaswamy, head of the Hepatology Department. The book details the ill effects of consuming alcohol.

The Hepatology Department signed a memorandum of understanding with Novartis Healthcare under which the firm would provide patient care coordinators, statisticians and Hepatitis B testing kits to the department. The move would help in investigation, data collection and research, Mr. Panneerselvam said.

Under the Kalaignar insurance scheme, the hospital's Urology Department had performed the maximum number of surgeries (113) followed by Orthopaedics (39). The Minister said last year, the EMRI 108 ambulance had saved the lives of 21,753 persons and around 1.18 lakh pregnant women were transported to medical institutions for childbirth.

Health Secretary V.K. Subburaj said as about 10 per cent of those working in the health sector were vulnerable to Hepatitis B infection, the Health Department had made it mandatory for all medical service appointees to produce a certificate before joining duty that they had been vaccinated for Hepatitis B. He called for a safe injection policy to reduce infection rates.

Director of Medical Education S. Vinayagam said there was a need to have public service advertisements on television and in films to spread awareness of the ills of alcohol. Hospital dean J. Mohanasundaram spoke.

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