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YSR hints at nominal fee for medicare

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HEALTH CONCERNS: Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy addressing the gathering after laying the foundation stone for the university campus of the Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences at Rangapur on Saturday. Photo: D. Gopalakrishnan
HEALTH CONCERNS: Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy addressing the gathering after laying the foundation stone for the university campus of the Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences at Rangapur on Saturday. Photo: D. Gopalakrishnan

Special Correspondent

Government plans to introduce 'nominal charges' for those who can afford to pay

HYDERABAD: The days of free medicare for all in Government hospitals might end soon.

This was amply indicated by Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy while laying the foundation stone for the university campus of the Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) at Rangapur, near here, on Saturday.

He said the Government was contemplating to introduce "nominal charges" for those who can afford to pay in the State-run hospitals even as he maintained that reforms were being initiated in the health sector to ensure that medicare reached the poor. "Every paisa spent for the poor should reach them." Interestingly, Dr. Reddy had abolished "user charges" in Government hospitals after assuming office.

He said health and teaching wings would be bifurcated as part of the reforms in order to provide better services to people. Hospitals which lacked staff had been identified and doctors posted. But the recruited doctors were seeking transfer, he added, and asked them to end such practice and remain in the place of posting. The Government was making special efforts to see that healthcare was accessible to the poor and the needy. Camps were being organised in all districts to screen for congenital heart ailments among children and free treatment had been so far provided to 4,000 of the 6,000 those identified.

Central aid

Union Minister of State for Health P. Lakshmi said NIMS and SVIMS were the two medical institutes selected by the Centre for upgradation. They would be provided with an assistance of Rs.120 crores and Rs.50 crores respectively. The Government had launched a Rs.6,732-crore Rural Health Mission to take healthcare to the doorstep of the poor.

Decsribing the laying of the foundation as a milestone, Health and Finance Minister K.Rosaiah hoped the university would develop into a prestigious institution.

S.Sudhakar Reddy, MP, urged the Chief Minister to clear NIMS proposal to set up a medical college. Union Urban Development Minister S. Jaipal Reddy, Uma Madhav Reddy, MLA, and NIMS Director D. Prasada Rao spoke.

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