Special Correspondent

The project will cover slum areas in 429 cities and towns, says Anbumani Ramadoss

VANDAVASI: The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has sought from the Planning Commission an allocation of Rs.9,000 crore for implementing the National Urban Health Mission during the 11th Plan.

Disclosing this to reporters here on Sunday, Union Minister Anbumani Ramadoss said the mission would be implemented in slum areas of 429 cities and towns, covering a slum population of five crore. The National Organ Transplant Programme and the National Emergency and Trauma Care Programme were the two major national programmes to be launched by the Ministry shortly.

Dr. Anbumani reiterated his demand that the State government establish a government medical college in Tiruvannamalai district. Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi had announced that the government would establish a government medical college in each district. Initially, he announced the establishment of government medical colleges in Dharmapuri, Villupuram and Thiruvarur districts. The Minister was confident that the government would soon set up a medical college in the backward Tiruvannamalai district.

Shortage of doctors

As for the shortage of doctors, and the need for allowing more private medical colleges to tide over the problem, Dr. Anbumani said that out of the 271 medical colleges in India, 172 were located in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat. There were 26 medical colleges in Tamil Nadu and 37 in Andhra Pradesh, but only six in Bihar. More colleges were needed in the north. The Centre would favourably consider requests for increasing the number of seats in the colleges.