Azad stresses need for private-public partnership in healthcare

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Srinagar, Apr 22 (UNI) Maintaining that Jammu and Kashmir offers great future in medical tourism, Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad has said the state, known as heaven on earth for its scenic beauty, can be turned into a paradise of specialised healthcare.

Speaking at the inaugural ceremony of a health conference at SKICC here today, the Chief Minister said world class medical treatment alongwith pleasure of stay to those seeking quality and affordable healthcare would be available through development of tertiary healthcare system.

He said soon after taking over as the Chief Minister of the state it was his dream to bring multi speciality hospitals to Jammu and Kashmir.

A policy of public- private partnership for setting up of such hospitals in the state was formulated. It is aimed at paving way for establishment of multi-speciality hospitals in Srinagar and Jammu which would later be extended to other districts across the state.

He said this will go a long way to upgrade health facilities and people would not have to go to Delhi, Chandigarh or Mumbai for specialized treatment.

Mr Azad appreciated Dr M S Khuroo for bringing the faculty of Artemis Health Institute through imaginative concept of affiliation to improve healthcare services in Kashmir.

He exuded hope that this initiative would benefit the people of the valley. He said recent trend in privatization of health services is medical tourism which is gaining prominence in developing countries.

Mr Azad said slogan of such enterprise should be first class treatment at affordable price.

The Chief Minister also said health care is receiving focused attention of the state government which with the help of Centre is working untiringly to extend and upgrade existing healthcare facilities in terms of infrastructure, machinery, equipment and manpower.

Thirty-three hospitals are under construction on fast track basis, he said, adding that adequate funds have been earmarked for purchase of equipment in the current fiscal year's budget.

Super specialties are being developed in the Medical Colleges at Srinagar and Jammu which will raise these hospitals to the AIIMS level,he added.

He informed that attention is also being laid on the development of healthcare system at the district, sub-district and primary health centre level.

The Chief Minister said a massive training programme has been launched for multi-skilling of doctors and paramedics.

A beginning has been made by imparting basic medical education training to teachers working in mobile education centres so that they can treat gujjars, bakerwals and other nomads for minor ailments, Mr Azad added.

He said the government would provide land at district headquarters to private partners for setting up of specialized health centres but they would have to ensure that poor patients are treated free of cost.

Mr Azad said steps have been taken to strengthen the referral and basic healthcare infrastructure as more than 90 per cent of patient load in the state is handled by government health institutions.

He invited the corporate sector and healthcare professionals to invest in the health sector in Jammu and Kashmir under public- private partnership for which government would extend all possible help.

He said all of us should work to put the state on international map of destinations of specialized healthcare.

UNI BAS QAB AKJ AS2149

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