Dr Harsh Vardhan, Hon’ble Minister for Health & Family Welfare, Government of India accompanied by Union Health Secretary Shri Lov Verma and a team of officials visited Bihar for three days from 20 to 22 June 2014. The visit was aimed at appreciation of situation on the ground in one of the disease affected States where morbidity and mortality of children in the current outbreak of encephalitis related disease had attracted focused concern of the Ministry. In Muzaffarpur District, Dr Harsh Vardhan went to some of the affected villages, Intensive Care Units in Sri Krishna Government Medical College Hospital and to AES Ward of the Kejriwal Hospital run by a charitable Trust.Dr Harsh Vardhan was informed about the progress of the health sector and the proposed 2nd generation health sector reforms by the Bihar Health Secretary in a meeting at District headquarters that continued till late night. The meeting was attended by Bihar Health Minister, Members of Parliament and MLAs of Bihar belonging to BJP, Professors of Medical College, other medical professionals, WHO experts, UNICEF experts, American experts from CDC Atlanta and teams of District Officials. After detailed discussion in the meeting, Dr Harsh Vardhan urged the State Government to go beyond the targets set for the 2nd generation health sector reforms, specifically in respect of IMR, MMR and immunization coverage. He announced a series of packages by the Central Government.
The Union Health Minister announced that diseases such as Kala Azar, Measles, Filariasis and Leprosy would be eradicated from the country in the coming years. He said that 100 per cent vaccination should be ensured so that no child goes without immunization. The aim should be to achieve drastic reduction in IMR and MMR in the State, added Dr Harsh Vardhan. He stated that a 100-bed Paediatric ICU would be set up at SK Medical College Hospital. In the adjoining districts 10-bed Paediatric ICUs would be set up. The SK Medical College Hospital would be upgraded to super-specialty standards. He announced setting up of five Virological Diagnostics Laboratories in the State at Gaya, Bhagalpur, Bettiah, Pavapuri and Nalanda. Two Multi-Disciplinary Research Units will be set up, one each at Muzaffarpur and Darbhanga. New research initiatives on encephalitis were announced. Model Rural Health Research Unit on Kala Azar would be set up in Muzaffarpur district. MCI would be requested to look into extension of medical seats from 150 to 250. He also asked the officials to meet MCI requirements for medical seat extension. He stressed the need of preventive health and making healthy Indians a mass movement by enlisting participation of all sections.
Today, the Union Health Minister met the parents of disease affected children in Village Shahbazpur in Kanti Block of Muzaffarpur. He administered JE vaccine to children in an Anganwadi Centre in Shahpur Panchayat. He inspected PHC Kanti and met the indoor patients at the maternity ward of the PHC. He urged the District and PHC officials to revitalize their efforts.Dr Harsh Vardhan had detailed deliberations with the Chief Minister. The Union Minister informed the Chief Minister that his Ministry would do everything possible to halt the morbidity and mortality of mothers and children. The Chief Minister stated that his Government had taken many steps for improving the health scenario in the State and added that his Government was committed to give additional land of 50 to 100 acres for expansion of AIIMS Patna.
The Union Minister also visited AIIMS Patna and inspected the facilities being set up there. He met the faculty and students of AIIMS Patna. Dr Harsh Vardhan inspected the Medical College, OPD, Operation Theatres, diagnostic facilities, hostels of boys and girl students. He also visited the main hospital, trauma and emergency care centre and other facilities under construction in the AIIMS Patna campus. While addressing the students, faculty and staff of AIIMS he remembered the vision of former Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpeyeeji and shared the dream to make AIIMS Patna the best medical institution in the world and equip it with the latest technology. He stressed upon the need to deliver the best medical education to the students. He exhorted the Director, faculty and staff to work day and night to realize these goals and work towards developing a positive health attitude in the society. He asked the contract executing companies to put in all efforts and complete the project by 20 December 2014.
The Union Health Minister announced that “AIIMS Patna would be dedicated to the nation around 25 December 2014, the birthday of Shri Atal Bihari Vajpeyeeji by Shri Narendra Modijee our Prime Minister”. He announced that a School of Public Health and a Department of Environmental Health Occupational Medicine would be newly opened in AIIMS Patna.He asked AIIMS authorities to integrate Ayush and focus on medical ethics. He directed AIIMS management to ensure 100% transparency. He asked that all details of procurement and recruitment related matters must be hosted on the website so that everyone has information. The Union Minister asked the Ministry officials to strengthen coordination mechanism among the AIIMS. He directed that every Doctor in AIIMS must adopt standard treatment schedules and follow rational drugs use policy. He stated that he would personally monitor progress at AIIMS Patna.