Rajasthan's health care initiative hailed

Special Correspondent

JAIPUR: The Drugs Consultative Committee of the Union Ministry for Chemicals and Fertilisers has recommended inclusion of Medical Relief Society and Drugs Bank schemes of Rajasthan in the national pharmacy policy and their adoption in other States.

State Medical and Health Minister Digambar Singh, addressing the Committee's third meeting in New Delhi earlier this week, said the Medical Relief Societies had been established from the medical college to primary health centre levels to extend health care facilities to the those in need.

Dr. Singh said the Sawai Man Singh Medical College in Jaipur alone was earning Rs. 12 crore from the Medical Relief Society and Drugs Bank and spending 25 per cent of the income on providing free medical and diagnostic services to the patients belonging to below poverty line (BPL) families.

Union Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, presiding over the meeting, said Rajasthan had emerged as a model State in providing health care services to the poor and other States should emulate its initiatives.

Dr. Singh pointed out that the State Government had recently decided to provide medical treatment free of cost to all senior citizens above the age of 65 years. While the Medical Relief Society was arranging ambulances and transport for needy patients, the Drugs Bank was supplying medicines at less than half the prices prevailing in the market. Similarly, the diagnostic tests such as sonography, MRI and CAT scan are performed by the Society at concessional rates. He said the Society was spending a portion of its income on maintenance of medical equipment and cleanliness of hospitals.

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