Minister of State for Health, Shabir Ahmad khan has underscored the need for further reducing Neonatal Mortality Rate (NMR) in the state by taking concentrated health care measures. "There is a need for reducing NMR in the state by taking secure health care measures," the Health Minister said while addressing the Chief Medical officers and Block Medical Officers of Kashmir pision at a meeting held here on Sunday. The meeting was convened to review physical and financial status of several healthcare schemes implemented under National Rural Health Mission and State plan In Kashmir.Director Health Services, Kashmir, Mission Director, NRHM, Director Family Welfare, Controller Drugs & Food Organization were among other senior Officers who attended the meeting.The Health Minister stressed upon the concerned authorities to reach out at grassroots level for better implementation of NRHM which guarantees quality health care facilities to the rural people.Khan said high neonatal mortality has been area of great concern in the state. Though the infant mortality rate has decreased from 52 in 2006 to 39 in 2012 but the neonatal mortality rate in the state still remains the matter of concern.He stressed on the need to focus on lessening the neonatal mortality by improving the facility based and home based newborn care.The Minister directed the concerned HODs to implement the flagship programme in letter and spirit so that the benefits of the programme percolate down to the people. He said the Central Government was providing adequate funding to improve the health infrastructure in the state and it was the duty of the officials concerned to make optimum use of these resources.
He also stressed on strict observance of the guidelines while implementing various components of the NRHM. Laying stress on achieving the targets, the minister directed the officials to put in their best efforts for the improvement of medical facilities in government health institutions. He asked them to work with missionary zeal and take all necessary measures to improve the healthcare. He also stressed on strengthening the monitoring mechanism and plugging the loopholes, if any.Shabir instructed the officials to ensure that all under-construction hospitals are completed within shortest possible time and directed timely submission of utilization certificates (UCs) to the Centre to facilitate free flow of funds. The delay in submission of UCs would be viewed seriously, he added.The Health Minister emphasized the need for universal access of people to the fleet of ambulances procured under NRHM asking for making 102 Phone Number operational so that people can utilize hassle free ambulance service.The Minister received a brief on the progress registered under various state and centrally sponsored health schemes, under construction hospital buildings and the functioning of various disciplines in the health services, Indian Systems of Medicine, National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), Drugs and Food Control Organization and Medical Supplies Corporation.
Expressing concern over the shortage of manpower, especially in the rural and far-flung areas, the Minister stressed the need for rationalization of staff strictly as per the work load of the institutions. He said under NRHM the Centre has already made substantial increase in the incentives of doctors and para-medics who will serve in the far-flung areas, adding that all gaps should be filled with the posting of manpower under the programme.The Health Minister instructed for discouraging the unnecessary referrals from rural hospitals to tertiary hospitals to avoid crowds. He called for equipping the district hospitals properly to attend all types of patients except of serious nature which require specialized treatment in the tertiary centers. “The concerned doctors will have to give the reason for referring the particular patient to the higher institutions”, he ordered.The Minister interacted with each Chief Medical Officers and enquired about the problems which they face at the grass root level. He issued necessary instructions to the higher authorities for plugging the gaps so that patients get best medical facilities in the government institutions. He also stressed for coordinated approach to achieve better results.