Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has said that India badly needs a law that guarantees the right to health to its people.

Addressing a gathering after inaugurating the State’s first medical college hospital (MCH) under the management of the Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) at Paripally, near here, on Saturday, Mr. Chandy said the State government would take up the matter with the Union government. “Till a right to health Act becomes a reality, the State government will do everything possible to ensure medical care for the needy,” Mr. Chandy said.

World-class medical treatment facilities were currently available in the State, but the common man was unable to access them owing to the cost factor. Only through the government MCHs were the poor able to get quality treatment. This was why the United Democratic Front government had decided to start nine MCHs. One of the nine MCHs had started functioning. Construction of five was progressing. A decision on the MCH in Wayanad district would be taken on Saturday itself, he said.

Mr. Chandy said the medical policy of the government was that all the 14 districts should have a government MCH. Once the nine MCHs were commissioned, 13 districts would have government MCHs.

The two districts left out would be Kollam and Kannur. He said that talks for the government takeover of Pariyaram MCH in Kannur were on. The government would seriously consider an MCH for Kollam district too.

Mr. Chandy said the policy of the State government was to extend cooperation to the ESI initiatives. Considering the huge water requirement for the Paripally ESIC MCH, he had issued orders directing the Kerala Water Authority to supply the water required for the MCH complex from the Japan International Cooperation Agency-funded Meenad Drinking Water Scheme that passed through the area.

He said the ESIC had identified 30 acres of land at Mavelikara for the construction of the second ESIC MCH in the State. The land would be handed over to the ESIC at the earliest if there were no technical hurdles. Otherwise, suitable land of the same area would be identified and handed over to the ESIC as early as possible, he said.

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