Says government to go by projects being finalised for the 12th Five Year Plan
Minister for Health Adoor Prakash said here on Thursday that the ongoing grassroots-level preparation of health care projects as part of the Comprehensive Health Plan (CHP) being drafted for the 12th Five Year Plan would give shape to the health policy of the State government.
Talking to reporters after a meeting of people's representatives and officials to review the draft plans being prepared as part of the CHP in the district, the Minister said the government's initiative to extend the CHP to all districts would lead to the formulation of a health policy for the next five years through local-level preparation of projects to be included in the 12th Plan period.
Addressing the review meeting, the Minister said the CHP initially implemented in Alappuzha was now being extended to all other districts to formulate a grassroots-level coordinated effort in the health care sector in the wake of outbreaks of communicable diseases in many districts over the years. The government would proceed on the basis of the projects being finalised for the 12th Five Year Plan.
The thrust of the CHP was that it included projects that would coordinate the activities of the Health Department, other departments and local bodies, he added.
Mr. Prakash said many panchayats in different parts of the State were yet to effectively utilise the ward-level annual grant of Rs.10,000 for sanitation activities under the National Rural Health Mission. He called upon the local bodies to ensure that this fund was properly utilised in order to prevent outbreak of infectious diseases. He said the State government would explore various sources of funding available from the Union government for the CHP. He recalled that Alappuzha, where the CHP was implemented, was largely free from the outbreak of diseases reported in districts such as Kozhikode and Kasaragod. The model of coordinated activities in Alappuzha had to be adopted in the entire State, he added.
Referring to complaints about shortage of doctors in government hospitals and health centres, the Minister said the United Democratic Front (UDF) government had taken some steps to solve this problem. As a result of the upgrade of hospitals across the State, the number of posts of doctors and paramedical staff to be created was 2,514, he said adding that the number of posts sanctioned was 212. Stating that efforts were under way to rectify this anomaly, Mr. Prakash said out of 300 doctors on the PSC list to whom the government had sent advice memo, only 60 had reported. He said moves were afoot to start two medical stores under the co-operative sector in each panchayat .
Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, A.P. Abdullakutty, Sunny Joseph and K.M. Shaji, MLAs; District Collector Anand Singh; and district panchayat president K.A. Sarala; were among those who attended the review meeting.
The MLAs highlighted the importance of conceiving projects for treating garbage at source of waste generation, comprehensive sewage treatment plans, schemes to ensure sanitation and health care activities targeting migrant workers and measures for controlling stray dogs.
The draft CHP for the district prepared after holding local-level workshops and block and district level vetting processes includes proposals for 80 pain and palliative units, 78 schemes for control of non-communicable disease and 46 plastic-control projects as also various innovative projects, including that for eradicating African snails. The total estimated cost of the projects for the district is Rs.195.72 crore.