Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on Wednesday said the PDP-BJP government needed time to put the state back on the track of development and instill peace.
“My government has been in power for less than six months and needed time to put the state back on track,” Sayeed said addressing a function organised to flag off 70 ambulances and vaccination vans, procured under National Health Mission (NHM) at SKICC.
He said that his government wants to end uncertainty and instill peace in the state to take forward its development agenda.
Highlighting the need for improving healthcare sector, the Chief Minister said,”It pains me to see that those who require huge amount for cancer treatment are provided meagre financial assistance.” Sayeed instructed the Health department to work out modalities for enhancing the corpus of funds for the purpose.
He announced substantial hike in allocation under the corpus of revolving fund in order to make expensive medical treatment affordable for patients suffering from terminal diseases like cancer.
The Chief Minister had sanctioned a revolving fund for cancer patients during the District Development Board meeting of Srinagar and announced Rs one crore each for SKIMS Soura and Jammu Medical College respectively so that poor patients can be provided instant financial assistance for treatment.
With strengthening of tertiary healthcare sector, he said patients with terminal diseases would get succour as advanced medical treatment will now be available within the state. With SKIMS in the process of setting up a State Cancer Institute with an amount of Rs 120 crore as grant-in-aid received from the Union Health Ministry, it is expected that cancer patients can avail advanced treatment within the state, he said.
Expressing concern over brain drain in the health sector, Sayeed said there is a dire need to avail services of qualified and specialist doctors in our health institutions.
“I have seen infrastructure, but lack of specialist doctors is a matter of grave concern,” he said while urging the doctors, who are serving away from home, to come back and serve the state.
Asking the doctors and paramedic staff to work with missionary zeal, the Chief Minister said the Government would consider setting up a nursing college in each district of the state so as to tide over the shortage of trained medical staff in the hospitals.
“J&K Public Service Commission and Service Selection Board are now at full strength. I am hopeful that filling up of posts of doctors and paramedics will be fast-tracked in a time-bound manner,” he added.
In order to ensure prompt delivery of quality healthcare, the chief minister said the Government would see that specialist doctors are posted in far-flung areas of the state, so that people do not come running to Srinagar or Jammu for advanced treatment.
He said the government is converting two health institutions in all the constituencies of the state into Maternity and Childcare and Model Hospitals. Stressing on procurement of more ambulances, in particular critical care, Sayeed said these facilitate quick referrals and save lives of patients.
He said the government has chalked out a comprehensive plan to equip the healthcare institutions with adequate men and modern machines.
The state health department has procured 102 ambulances under NHM, out of which 34 have already been distributed. The ambulances flagged off on Wednesday will be provided to various districts, with preference to those which have locational disadvantage.