Staff Reporter

MADURAI: In a joint initiative by the Central and State Governments, a public health scheme is being launched under which all Government hospitals in the State would form Patient Welfare Societies and receive funding under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM). The process of forming and registering the societies is under way.

According to S. Elango, Joint Director, Directorate of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, the societies would receive seed money from the NRHM and the hospitals could utilise it for emergency requirements and repairs of medical equipment. Unless the hospitals registered the society, the money would not come from the Centre, Dr. Elango said.

The Director of Public Health, P. Padmanaban, had convened a meeting at Chennai on December 15 after which the Deans of hospitals, joint directors and deputy directors at the district level were asked to form the societies. Those in the committees can be local public representatives, industrialists and others.

Primary health centres would get Rs.10,000 each, taluk-level hospitals Rs. 1 lakh and government medical college hospitals are entitled to up to Rs.5 lakh.

Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi is expected to hand over the first seed money to a Government hospital in Chennai on December 30 and formally launch the scheme, he said.

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