A sewage treatment plant has been sanctioned at a cost of Rs. 8.5 crore for the Government Vellore Medical College Hospital (GVMCH), according to V.S. Vijay, Health Minister.

Talking to reporters on the GVMCH premises in Adukkamparai near here on Saturday, Dr. Vijay said a digital X-ray unit and a dialysis unit had also been sanctioned for the hospital and they would be installed soon.

The GVMCH premises would be made a green campus with the help of Anaicut MLA M. Kalaiarasu. The legislator promised to make the campus green with the help of contributions from private and voluntary organisations.

Dr. Vijay said that 89 % of 7.41 lakh members covered under the Chief Minister’s Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme (CMCHIS) in Vellore district had so far been issued identity cards. When told about complaints from patients that some private hospitals in Vellore demanded additional payment from the members besides the amount allowed under the scheme for a particular treatment,

Dr. Vijay said it had come to his notice that these hospitals offered the option of providing treatment using sophisticated imported equipment on the condition that patients bore the additional cost.

Such patients agreed to bear the additional cost at the time of admission and complained about the levy of extra cost after undergoing the treatment.

The Minister said that he had, therefore, advised private hospitals to provide treatment to patients only with indigenous equipment and desist from offering the option of treatment with imported equipment so that the cost did not exceed the limit.

Dr. Vijay said a health helpline would soon be provided for the whole of Tamil Nadu. This helpline would provide information to callers on health facilities available for a particular disease in Tamil Nadu and other health-related information. A toll-free number was sought for this helpline.

On the hospital-on-wheels programme, the Minister said the programme was already been implemented in rural areas through mobile units.

A. Somasundaram, Deputy Director of Health Services, Vellore, said that under the programme, 800 medical camps were conducted every month, one each in 800 villages and hamlets in Vellore district.

Mobile medical units, each equipped with a doctor and a nurse, visited the villages and provided treatment to patients at their doorstep. Twenty ambulances for 20 blocks in the district would be sent for re-fabrication so that it has a laboratory. Three fabricated ambulances were received and stationed at primary health centres in Panapakkam, Kodakkal and Puduppadi. Six ambulances were sent for re-fabrication. Once they are received, the others would be sent for re-fabrication.

Lab technicians would soon be appointed for the hospital-on-wheels, he said.

Earlier, distributing identity cards to beneficiaries under CMCHIS at Konavattam here, Dr. Vijay said the government had spent Rs.582 core during 2012-13 on providing treatment to patients under CMCHIS. Thirty-five per cent of the amount had benefited government hospitals. A total of 1.92 lakh persons had so bar been benefited by the scheme. A total of 1.34 cores families comprising four crore members were covered under the scheme throughout the State.

The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam government added more types of surgeries, investigations and modes of treatment including ‘100 dialysis per year’ under the scheme. A total of 6,582 surgeries and 650 dialyses were conducted so far under scheme, he said.

The government sanctioned Rs.37 lakh for the expansion of the PHC in Konavattam which was established in fulfilment of a poll promise.

The PHC received 200 outpatients every day and conducted 30 deliveries a month, he said.

Dr. Vijay distributed identity cards to 363 members of CMCHIS. P. Sankar, Collector of Vellore, presided. P. Karthiyayini, Mayor of Vellore, appealed to the public to utilise the CMCHIS.