Model hospital plan

Improving and modernizing healthcare system in the State and bringing medical facilities to the people in far-flung and remote areas of the State always remained a priority activity with successive Governments. The State has made some achievements in the healthcare programme, yet there is still much more to do in this area. Healthcare is a changing phenomenon that demands upgrading of all components that go in the making of efficient healthcare system. It needs constant updating to keep pace with many impressive innovations and researches made in the field of medicine.
A difficulty that has haunted Governments in the State is that of bringing more medical facilities in terms of specialists, medical equipment, para-medical staff and latest machines and gadgets to district hospitals and far-flung Medical Health Centres. Our doctors are reluctant to render service in rural and remote areas just because rural areas do not provide the type of easy and comfort-seeking life as is possible in cities and towns. Therefore, our health services in rural areas have remained circumspect.
The Coalition Government had made a commitment to the people that it would make efforts to bring healthcare facilities to as many people in rural areas as was possible to mitigate their suffering. In absence of basic medical facilities and lack of adequate medical staff and qualified doctors, the villagers are under compulsion to take serious patients all the way to the premier hospitals in the city in Jammu or in Srinagar. It is an expensive exercise for the poor villagers. Besides that, it also adds to crowdedness in Government hospitals.
In view of all this and in redemption of the promises made to the rural population, the Government has now concentrated on the idea of opening   model hospitals at each district headquarter.  Chairing a high-level review meeting of the Health & Medical Department (H&MED), Chief Minister expressed that our objective should be to convert CHCs and PHCs into Model Hospitals with main focus on providing maternity and childcare services at the primary level. This is a much-needed step and the earlier taken the better. The Government plans to approach the Central Government for financial support to the scheme of model hospitals in the State.
The Government will approach Centre for funding, once the pilot projects are up and running. While insisting on making healthcare accessible, affordable and qualitative, all this means putting the entire scheme on very modern pattern. As far as the vision is concerned, there can be no two opinions that extending modernized healthcare to the rural areas is a commendable decision. However, based on our experience, we would suggest the Government that it should initiate steps towards upgrading of three district hospitals in each division by providing additional qualified professionals, particularly in gynecology & obstetrics, anesthesia, pediatrics, orthopedics, general surgery, medicine and radiology.  After the initiative has been taken, the Government may approach the Central Government for providing sufficient grants to make the plan a success. Once the CHCs and PHCs have been converted into Model Hospitals, and made functional, this will mean a big change in the overall healthcare system in the State.
All this is highly encouraging. The only question is implementation of these ambitious schemes in letter and in spirit. People in the State usually say that the Government makes loud announcements of developmental schemes with great fanfare. However, seldom do these schemes see the day of their completion. Therefore, without being euphoric, we remain in a state of expectation about the fulfillment of the schemes .


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