Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: The Eleventh Plan is to include a budget allocation for non-governmental organisations and charitable trusts concerned with healthcare, according to Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Panabaka Lakshmi.

The Minister, who inaugurated two state-of-the-art diagnostic machines at Swami Vivekananda Diagnostic Centre on Wednesday, said the private sector and NGOs had an important role to play in healthcare and underlined the need for public-private partnerships for social and economic development.

She stressed the government’s commitment to health and highlighted the improvements brought about by the National Rural Heath Mission, including infrastructure, manpower and community empowerment. However, she asked the private sector provide facilities at affordable rates.

The Swami Vivekananda Centre, a permanent service project of the Lions Club of Anna Nagar Charitable Trust, is aimed at supplying the highest possible diagnostic services on a cost-to-cost basis. Its new machines, the Siemens Somatom Spirit Spiral CT scan unit and the Konica Minolta CR system for digital X-rays, will cut patient waiting time, enabling more patients to be seen in a day.

The Minister said the Vivekananda Centre offered valuable services at nominal rates to ensure they reached the maximum number of people.