Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh along-with Health Minister Kaul Singh Thakur launched the six new health schemes including Electronic Health Card Scheme, a scheme for free insulin for diabetic patients below 18 years of age under universal immunisation programme, at hotel holiday home here today, making Himachal Pradesh the first such state in South East Asia region to launch the same.They also launched HP Universal Health Protection Scheme, a health bulletin brochure, a scheme for free treatment of Hemophilic patients and introduction to ‘Measles Rubella (MR) campaign. The health card could be downloaded from google app by the name ‘HealthCardHP’. They also laid online foundation stone of special ward block of Indira Gandhi Medical College, Shimla to have 32 wards."I am always of the opinion that whatever is to be done should be qualitative time-bound and be done on priority", said Chief Minister while addressing the gathering, adding that may it be expansion of health infrastructure, education, roads, etc.
He said in the present tenure of State government, four new medical colleges were got sanctioned for the state. The Dr. YS Parmar Medical College at Nahan and Jawahar Lal Nehru College at Chamba had started functioning and many students from all India medical quota beside Non Resident Indians have taken admission in these medical colleges. The ESIC Medical College at Ner-Chowk in district Mandi has also become functional, said the Chief Minister. The construction work of medical college building at Hamirpur could not be taken up because the forest clearance was still awaited. Besides, there has been lot of infrastructural expansion in Ayurveda department too. Many Ayurveda health institutions have been opened in far flung and rural belts of the state, he said.He said that the government had got constructed well planned and well managed schools, college buildings and offices all over the state including old age homes and orphanages. He congratulated for the quality work undertaken by state government construction agencies. He said that whatever the Government thinks of doing was accomplished and one needs to work with a strong will power.The Chief Minister also honoured Dr. J.K. Mokta for his research and had work in formulating a scheme for free insulin for diabetic patients below 18 years of age.
Health Minister Shri Kaul Singh Thakur said that the schemes launched today would go far beyond in strengthening the health services in the state. He said that the Himachal had become the first state in South East Asia to launch electronic health cards. He said that there were few lakh people who were not covered under any scheme had now been brought under the ambit of Universal Heath Scheme and would be benefited by schemes launched today. He said that the screening scheme for patients of non-communicable disease has also been launched in the state.It is our priority to provide quality health services to the people of the state and the aim of the government was to strengthen the health infrastructure in rural and far flung areas, he said.The Minister said that dialysis facility for diabetic patients had been started in Zonal hospitals (ZHs) of four district initially, and phase wise the facility would be extended to all the ZH's in the state. He said that efforts were afoot to provide 300 different type of life saving medicines to people of the state free of cost in all Community, Primary and health sub centres. Our target was to bring the infant mortality rate down to 25/1000 per year which now was 28/1000 per year, he said. He thanked the Chief Minister for sanctioning 2000 posts of para-medical staff in Health department in the Cabinet.
Chief Parliamentary Secretary Health Shri Nand Lal, also spoke on the occasion. Additional Chief Secretary, Health Shri Prabodh Saxena thanked the Chief Minister for showing keen interest for expansion of health services and said that the Chemotherapy facility was now available in IGMC Shimla and is free for Below Poverty Line families. The people who use to go to PGIMER, Chandigarh for chemotherapy were being treated for their ailment at IGMC. He said that to fulfil the budgetary promise of the Chief Minister, free insulin for type-1diabetic patients below 18 year of age and free treatment to hemophilic patients was also being launched. He said that the amount for critical care cardiothoracic surgeries, Genito Urinary services, Neurosurgery, Radiation oncology was enhanced from 30 thousand to Rs 1.75 lakh and for the cancer patients is Rs. 2.25 lakh, which was far more as what was mentioned in the guidelines under universal health coverage scheme. Himachal has become the first state in the country to do so, he said. He also detailed about other schemes of the health department. Additional Chief Secretary Dr. Shrikant Baldi, Mission Director, NHM Shri Pankaj Rai, Director Health Dr. Baldev Thakur, Principal IGMC Dr. Ashok Sharma, Medical Superintendent Dr. Ramesh Chand, were also present on the occasion amongst others.